Revealed the secret of the tenacity of ticks

Revealed the secret of the tenacity of ticks

German entomologists for the first time to the smallest detail studied the structure of the tick, and found out that to stay on smooth surfaces these arthropods help sticky pads hidden between the claws on the legs.

Dagmar, Voigt and Stanislav Gorb of Kiel University in Germany used a microscope to study the complex structure of the legs of the dog tick (Ixodes ricinus) in which arthropod clinging to his victim, says New Scientist.

A tick has four pairs of walking legs, each of which has an elastic segments, giving it greater flexibility. Each leg ends curved round claw, which is well suited for clasping the tiny fibers, for example, the tiny hair on the animal. Between the claws of the mite are small pads, consisting of three lobes, fastened with tiny plates.

“There are several hypotheses about how the mites are able to cling to various surfaces. Most scholars to date have suggested that these arthropods clinging claws. However, our study proves the adhesion (adhesive) properties of the pads on the legs of the mite,” said Voigt.

Scientists have discovered that the surface of the pads, claws and the ends of the legs of the mite contain resilin — elastomeric protein, which makes up arthropod elastic legs, whereby the contact area with the victim increases.

“We were surprised by the elasticity of the claws of ticks and they have resilin. As far as we know, this is the first discovery resilin in the claws of arthropods,” added Voigt.