Where I’ve been able to find information, I have added it, using these references.
There are about 900 species of ticks; most of them are hard ticks and about 90 of them are in North America. All ticks are parasitic, living on blood. Although not host specific, ticks tend to have a different host for a different life cycle.
Ixodidae (Hard Ticks)
Ticks are the bane of mammals all over the world. There isn’t a life cycle in this family that cannot suck blood from us, but it’s generally the adults that cause we encounter. The larvae of this family only have 6 legs; they gain the other 2 legs once they move to the nymph stage. In the colder area of the US, it can take up to 3 years for a tick to fully mature.
Tick behavior is pretty interesting. They seek out their next meal by “questing.” This is where they go to the top of some vegetation and wait with their forelegs extended like they are awaiting a hug. When their meal brushes past them they grab hold with those extended legs. It creates a fascinating visual!
Dermacentor variabilis – American Dog Tick
AKA Eastern Wood Tick
This is the largest of the eastern Wood Ticks. This tick does not pass along Lyme Disease but can carry the virus of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. These ticks can survive for a year without any sustenance. The different stages of their lifecycle seem to prefer different prety; the larvae prefer mice while the adults prefer the larger mammals. Once the tick has found their prey it takes a while for them to imbed their mouthparts.
Ixodes scapularis – Deer Tick
AKA Black-legged Tick
This tick received its common name because it has relied mainly on deer to move it from place to place. These ticks mainly hang out in wooded areas. They have a 2 year life cycle. It’s the adult females that are problematic for mammals as the males do not feed.
Parasitiformes (superorder of mites)
Mites found on Roundneck Sexton Beetle — Nicrophorus orbicollis
The closest to an ID for this mite is a suborder of the superorder Parasitiformes.
Acariformes (superorder of mites)
Thrombidiidae (Velvet Mite)
These are not taxonomically well known mites. Larvae parasitize insects and arachnids of all major orders. Adults eat insect eggs.