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I have been having rash on my skin, and it looks like I am being bitten by something. Today I noticed this. Is it a tick or a spider? enter image description here

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    Where in the world are you?
    – Sean
    Oct 9, 2023 at 21:26

1 Answer 1

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While it is difficult to say for sure without a higher quality photo, I am almost certain this is a spider.

This is because spiders have clear definition between the head and the abdomen, with an obvious cephalothorax. The animal in your photo shows this pattern, as you will see in the following diagram from Wikipedia (1 = legs, 2 = cephalothorax, 3 = abdomen). In addition, spider legs all come from roughly the same point on the body.

spider anatomy Image attribution: Kaldari, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Ticks on the other hand, have limited definition between the abdomen and the cephalothorax, showing only the head (capitulum) as a tiny point on the scutum (abdomen and thorax as one part), as in the following image from a Purdue University page (Authors: Catherine Hill and John MacDonald). The legs on ticks come from several points along the body.

Tick anatomy

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    I cropped the OP's image and asked Google Images, which proposed several spiders but not one tick. Oct 8, 2023 at 22:28
  • Is it possible that this tiny spider could be biting me in my sleep?
    – Nomty
    Oct 9, 2023 at 20:32
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    @Nomty very unlikely. If it is the sort that I think it is, then these are web dwellers, and don't move far from their web. Unless you are squashing it in your sleep, it won't bite. Far more likely that you have something like a flea or bedbug in your bed.
    – bob1
    Oct 9, 2023 at 20:47
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    I don't think so. Most spiders that small don't have fangs long enough to bite a human, but without knowing the spider I can't say 100%. Oct 12, 2023 at 19:29

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