Episode 463 – Sex and the Single Tick

When is a clone not a clone? This time of year, the word “tick” may elicit thoughts about all those different ways to kill them in the environment or to protect ourselves and  our animals from them. In that world, the only good tick is a dead one and the planet would be a better place if they all disappeared. And a tick species in which certain females are capable of reproducing on their own is surely the stuff of nightmares. But as so often occurs when humans engage in mass extermination of another species, I suspect that we or future generations would bemoan such a short-sighted approach to the natural world yet again..


For those who want to know more about parthenogenesis, Wikipedia has a nice overview of this kind of reproduction. And here’s a link to more detailed study of the pathogenic Haemaphysalis longicornis  population found on the sheep in New Jersey.

This week’s picture is a pop quiz: Can you spot the aphid “clone”? Scroll down to the answer.




Answer: They all are.

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