What Is a White Tick?

By Samuel Markings
Some ticks take on a lighter color when they are enlarged by a blood feeding.

A tick is a small spider-like creature that bites and attaches itself to the skin of an animal or human. Once attached, the tick will feed on the host's blood until that part of its life-cycle has ended or it is removed manually. The color of a tick depends upon the specific species and gender. There are no tick species that are actually white, but some have white markings or are generally light in color.

Lone Star Tick

The lone star tick (amblyomma americium) can be found across eastern, south-eastern and Midwestern United States. The female has silvery-white spots on the back. These creatures feed on the blood of various animals including human beings and, in the process, can transfer pathogens such as tularemia.

Winter Tick

Winter ticks (Dermacentor albipictus) are found across the majority of North America. The males have white spots on their backs. These ticks mainly feed upon moose but have been found on elk, deer and other hoofed animals. Winter ticks do not attach to humans.

Gulf Coast Tick

The Gulf Coast tick (Amblyomma maculatum Koch) can be found in states close to the Gulf of Mexico. Male ticks are pale in color with reddish-brown spots. The adult Gulf Coast tick feeds upon upon a range of large animals including cattle and horses.

About the Author

Samuel Markings has been writing for scientific publications for more than 10 years, and has published articles in journals such as "Nature." He is an expert in solid-state physics, and during the day is a researcher at a Russell Group U.K. university.