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Hosts of the exotic ornate kangaroo tick, Amblyomma triguttatum triguttatum Koch, on southern Yorke Peninsula, South Australia

Abstract

Amblyomma triguttatum triguttatum is assumed to be endemic to south-western Western Australia (including Barrow Island), Queensland (excluding Cape York Peninsula), and New South Wales, south to Dubbo and Barham. The species has been recorded on a range of mammalian hosts including macropods and domestic animals. In Queensland, A. triguttatum triguttatum is implicated in the epidemiology of Q fever. In 2000, the species was detected on southern Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. We aimed to identify A. triguttatum triguttatum’s hosts through trapping, sampling of carcasses, and opportunistic capture of vertebrates on Yorke Peninsula. A. triguttatum triguttatum was removed from black rats (Rattus rattus), wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus), Tammar wallabies (M. eugenii eugenii), domesticated cats and dogs, and humans. Before this study, A. triguttatum triguttatum had not been found on black rats or rabbits in the wild. This research has implications for the management of wildlife, livestock, and visitors on Yorke Peninsula. The potential for A. triguttatum triguttatum to spread to other areas of Yorke Peninsula and South Australia is considerable, as visitors (tourists) to southern Yorke Peninsula report the presence of ticks both on themselves and among camping equipment on arriving home.

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Acknowledgment

We are indebted to various people including Katherine Brownlie, Sarah Buckley, Peter Close, Alan Dickens, Christopher Havelberg, Michael Jervois, Serina Lattanzio, Larissa Lauder, Anna Llewellyn, Angela Pestell, Philip Roetman, Annette Scanlon, James Tomlinson, Ashley Walker, Hugh Waudby, Pam Waudby, Brian White, and Michael Rosewarne. Thank you to Matthew Gill who spent many days in the field throughout the study’s duration. Thanks also to the Northern and Yorke Region Department for Environment and Heritage staff, particularly those at Innes National Park and Andrew Sharp. Sincere thanks to Graeme Coulson for his advice and demonstration of kangaroo catching techniques, Ian Beveridge for his comments on the paper, and also to Robert Sharrad for his advice on reptile capture and suggestions on the initial research. We would also like to acknowledge the continuing support of Olympus Australia. This research was funded by a University of South Australia Competitive Scheme Grant and a Nature Foundation of South Australia Scholarship, and conducted under a National Parks and Wildlife Scientific permit K25073 2 and ethics approval (92/05) from the IMVS Animal Ethics Committee.

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Correspondence to Sophie Petit.

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Waudby, H.P., Petit, S., Dixon, B. et al. Hosts of the exotic ornate kangaroo tick, Amblyomma triguttatum triguttatum Koch, on southern Yorke Peninsula, South Australia. Parasitol Res 101, 1323–1330 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-007-0642-4

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Keywords

  • Home Range
  • Tick Species
  • Pitfall Trap
  • Life Cycle Stage
  • Oryctolagus Cuniculus