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Do you know Sharks? Test your Zoobooks smarts by answering 20 questions about Sharks …. Do you know Wild Dogs? Test your Zoobooks smarts by answering 20 questions about Wild Dogs …. Do you know Polar Bears? Test your Zoobooks smarts by answering 20 questions about Polar Bears …. Do you know Animal Wonders? Test your Zoobooks smarts by answering 20 questions about Animal Wonders …. Do you know Spiders? Test your Zoobooks smarts by answering 20 questions about Spiders …. Do you know Turtles? Test your Zoobooks smarts by answering 20 questions about Turtles …. Do you know Deers Moose and Elks?

Test your Zoobooks smarts by answering 20 questions about Deers Moose and Elks …. Do you know Owls? Test your Zoobooks smarts by answering 20 questions about Owls …. Do you know Snakes? Test your Zoobooks smarts by answering 20 questions about Snakes …. Do you know Seals and Sea Lions? Test your Zoobooks smarts by answering 20 questions about Seals and Sea Lions ….

Do you know Tigers? Test your Zoobooks smarts by answering 20 questions about Tigers …. Do you know Apes? Test your Zoobooks smarts by answering 20 questions about Apes …. You must belong to the Ranger Rick Web Club to view this page now. Click here to sign in or join the Web Club. Mountain mistfrog Litoria nyakalensis. Nangur skink Nangura spinosa. Night parrot Pezoporus occidentalis. Northern banjo frog Limnodynastes terraereginae. Northern bettong Bettongia tropica. Northern gastric brooding frog Rheobatrachus vitellinus.

Northern hairy-nosed wombat Lasiorhinus krefftii. Northern hopping-mouse Notomys aquilo. Northern leaf-nosed bat Hipposideros stenotis. Northern quoll Dasyurus hallucatus. Northern tinkerfrog Taudactylus rheophilus. Olive ridley turtle Lepidochelys olivacea. Orange leaf-nosed bat Rhinonicteris aurantia. Ornamental snake Denisonia maculata. Oxleyan pygmy perch Nannoperca oxleyana.

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Paradise parrot Psephotus pulcherrimus. Peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus. Plains rat Pseudomys australis. Possum alarm cicada Cychlochila virens. Proserpine rock-wallaby Petrogale persephone. Rainforest skink Eulamprus tenuis. Red goshawk Erythrotriorchis radiatus. Redfin blue eye Scaturiginichthys vermeilipinnis Freshwater fish. Regent honeyeater Anthochaera phrygia.

Richmond birdwing butterfly Ornithoptera richmondia. Rufous bettong Aepyprymnus rufescens. Semon's leaf-nosed bat Hipposideros semoni. Sharman's rock-wallaby Petrogale sharmani. Short-necked worm-skink Anomalopus brevicollis. Southern boobook owl Ninox boobook. Southern cassowary Casuarius casuarius johnsonii southern population. Southern giant-petrel Macronectes giganteus. Spectacled flying-fox Pteropus conspicillatus.

Spotted katydid Ephippitytha trigintiduoguttata Insect. Striped-tailed delma Delma labialis Skink. Spotted-tailed quoll southern subspecies Dasyurus maculatus maculatus. Spotted-tailed quoll northern subspecies Dasyurus maculatus gracilis. Star finch eastern subspecies Neochmia ruficauda ruficauda. Striped marshfrog Limnodynastes peronii.

Water buffalo

Striped possum Dactylopsila trivirgata. Striped rocketfrog Litoria nasuta. Swift parrot Lathamus discolor. Tawny frogmouth Podargus strigoides. Troughton's sheathtail bat Taphozous troughtoni. Tube-nosed insectivorous bat Murina florium. Wallum sedgefrog Litoria olongburensis. Water mouse False water rat Xeromys myoides. Waterfall frog Litoria nannotis. White-crowned snake Cacophis harriettae. White lipped treefrog Litoria infrafrenata.

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Individual tick specimens were collected from dogs, cats and horses across Australia and sample collection locations were mapped using QGIS software. Ticks were morphologically examined to determine species, instar and sex. The companion animal owners responded to questionnaires and data collected were summarised with SPSS software.

Overall, larvae, nymphs, males, and females of 11 tick species were identified from companion animal hosts. One novel host record was obtained during this study for Ixodes myrmecobii , which was found on Felis catus domestic cat in the town of Esperance, Western Australia. The most common tick species identified included R. This study is the first of its kind to be conducted in Australia and our results contribute to the understanding of the species and distribution of ticks that parasitise dogs, cats, and horses in Australia.

Records of R. Several incomplete descriptions of ixodid species encountered in this study hindered morphological identification. As haematophagous obligatory parasites of reptiles, birds, and mammals, ticks are among the most important vectors of pathogens affecting livestock, companion animals, and humans worldwide [ 1 , 2 ].

Ticks transmit viruses, bacteria, and protozoa during blood feeding, which can compromise the health of the vertebrate host [ 3 ]. Some TBD of companion animals are zoonotic [ 5 , 6 ], which in some circumstances may also place human owners at risk of infection. Furthermore, companion animals can act as sentinels for emerging TBD [ 7 — 9 ]. In , it was estimated that there are a total of 4. Of the recognised tick species worldwide [ 11 ] there are 70 species endemic to Australia: 14 soft tick family Argasidae and 56 hard tick family Ixodidae species [ 12 ].

Argas persicus , horses e.

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Otobius megnini , cattle e. Haemaphysalis longicornis and Rhipicephalus australis , and dogs e. Rhipicephalus sanguineus [ 12 ]; however, R. Dogs are the primary hosts of R. Ixodids that usually feed on cattle H. As a result of its geographical isolation and robust biosecurity regulations, Australia is considered free of many of the TBD endemic to countries overseas. Anaplasma platys is the causative agent of CICT and was detected in dogs in central Australia in the early s [ 15 , 16 ]. Canine babesiosis is caused by Babesia vogeli and Babesia gibsoni in Australia.


Babesia vogeli has been detected in dogs from northern Australia [ 17 , 18 ] and New South Wales [ 18 ], and is transmitted by R. Babesia gibsoni has been detected in dogs from south-eastern Australia [ 21 ].

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Evidence in Japan suggests that H. Equine piroplasmosis was first diagnosed in Australia in [ 26 ]. The disease was later confirmed to be caused by the protozoan pathogen Babesia equi [ 27 ], which has since been redescribed as Theileria equi [ 28 ]. The presence of T. Tick infestations can cause other health problems in companion animals. Tick paralysis manifests as ascending paralysis and local neurological deficits [ 31 — 33 ].

The Australian tick species known to frequently cause tick paralysis in eastern and south-eastern Australia are I. Tick paralysis caused by Ixodes hirsti has also been reported in cats [ 35 ]. Additionally, heavy or repeated infestations of ticks can cause anaemia in the host animal, which is associated with blood loss during tick feeding [ 36 ].

Immunosuppression [ 37 ], secondary infections at the bite site [ 38 ], and localised dermatitis [ 39 ] can also result from tick infestations. The present study aimed to determine the tick species that are associated with dogs, cats and horses in Australia, and is part of broader research investigating tick-borne pathogens. Ticks were removed from animals by staff at veterinary clinics, and by various persons throughout Australia in response to a nationwide advertising campaign.

For each submission received, the source, approximate geographic location of collection site, host, and date of collection was recorded. The Murdoch University Animal Ethics Committee sanctioned the opportunistic removal of ticks from animal hosts. The sample collection locations were geo-referenced using the open source software QGIS, version 2. Layers were styled with a categorised renderer, with layer symbology classified according to tick species, and a point displacement renderer was used to visualise overlapping points around a centre symbol on rendering circles [ 43 ].

A questionnaire was designed in conjunction with Bayer Australia Ltd to obtain information about the age, sex, weight, habitat, use of tick control products and clinical signs of tick paralysis [ 44 ] of dogs, cats and horses that were presented to veterinary clinics Additional file 1. The companion animal owners completed the questionnaires while at the veterinary clinic. A total of questionnaires from 30 veterinary clinics were collected by Bayer Australia Ltd area managers, and sent to Murdoch University. Photographs of a single female for each species identified, except for Bothriocroton sp.

One novel host record was obtained for I. The collection locations for each ixodid species identified from companion animal hosts are presented in Fig.

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Collection locations of ticks removed from dogs, cats, and horses in Australia. Each point represents a unique collection location for the corresponding tick species. Overlapping points were displaced with a point displacement renderer around a centre symbol denoted in legend ; point displacement distance was defined by number of map units kilometres. The individual geographic collection locations, including the coordinates that were geo-referenced and displayed in Fig. Several collection locations occurred outside of the previously recorded distribution ranges for the following species: H.

In the vast majority of cases where signs of tick paralysis were reported in companion animals, I. In one case, R. The remaining five cases of tick paralysis were reported in dogs that were infested with Bothriocroton sp. This report describes the first comprehensive nationwide survey of ticks associated with companion animals in Australia and the results are generally consistent with the individual geographical distributions and host records [ 14 , 40 , 46 — 54 ], with a few exceptions.

Interestingly, one novel host record was obtained in this study for I.

Australian Animals A-Z List | Native Animals of Australia Facts & Pictures

Although native Australian ticks primarily feed on native wildlife species [ 14 ], they also feed on a variety of introduced mammals and birds [ 46 — 58 ]. The primary hosts of the introduced species H. The collection locations obtained for the vast majority of ticks in this study adhered to previously described Australian distribution ranges, or to previous collection locations [ 14 , 40 , 45 , 47 , 52 , 54 , 59 ].

The records of two I. Given that the distribution of ticks is affected by climate, vegetation, and the presence of the primary host species [ 60 ], it is also likely that the single I. The collection locations that occurred outside of the previously recorded distribution ranges for H. It is probable that the distribution of R. Investigations of R. These paraphyletic groupings remain to be investigated across different climatic regions of Australia. The collection localities of I. The information pertaining to the distribution range of this enigmatic tick species is limited, with very few studies of I.

Formal geographical distribution data for many of the Australian tick species we report in this study is either non-existent, or requires a systematic study. The current Australian tick morphology keys [ 14 , 40 ] also lack a complete description of I. There were no male H. In Australia, very few males have ever been reported [ 50 , 71 ]. The use of standard Australian tick morphology keys to identify ticks collected in Australia seems appropriate given the context of the study, however, there are species found elsewhere with similar morphology to those that are present in Australia. It is possible that other tick species could be inadvertently introduced into this country as a result of international movements of animals and humans, thus future studies could include molecular phylogenetic analyses of genetic markers e.

As expected, the majority of the ticks examined in this study were collected during the warmer months of spring and summer, when ixodids are generally more abundant [ 72 — 76 ] Fig. There is limited data pertaining to ownership of companion animals in Australia. Increased exposure to tick habitats likely increases the chance of tick attachment, which could explain our observations, as only dogs with ticks were sampled in this study.

Overseas studies have reported that factors such as host species, breed, and habitat significantly affect the likelihood of tick species attachment [ 75 , 77 ]. Explanatory variables for tick species attachment in this study could not be fairly assessed, as questionnaire data was skewed towards companion animals that were infested with I.

Several tick species identified in this study are of potential concern to the health of companion animals according to the current literature.

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Importantly, R. Most of the animals that were infested with I. The reports of tick paralysis in one cat infested with R. These may have been reported erroneously on the questionnaire, or Ixodes spp. There are few reports of TBD associated with I. Although Amblyomma triguttatum triguttatum , H. This first nationwide study of ticks on companion animals in Australia has provided a comprehensive snapshot of the current tick-host associations in dogs, cats, and horses that should be of interest to pet owners and carers, veterinarians, and manufacturers of ectoparasiticides.

The species that were most commonly found on these animals are well-known vectors of pathogens, or cause neurological disease. However, the vector competency of several species identified has not been widely investigated. Such knowledge is required to better understand the risks of TBD transmission to pets and potentially, to their owners. Further investigations are required to establish the environmental and host factors that influence tick species infestations on companion animals, which may help to develop prevention strategies against tick infestations.

Overview: ticks as vectors of pathogens that cause disease in humans and animals. Front Biosci. Ticks and tick-borne diseases: a one health perspective. Trends Parasitol. Emerging arthropod-borne diseases of companion animals in Europe. Vet Parasitol. Day MJ. One health: the importance of companion animal vector-borne diseases.

Parasit Vectors. Prioritization of companion animal transmissible diseases for policy intervention in Europe. J Comp Pathol. In press. Disease risk assessments involving companion animals: an overview for 15 selected pathogens taking a European perspective. The distribution of canine exposure to Borrelia burgdorferi in a Lyme-disease endemic area. Am J Public Health. Epidemiological characteristics of dogs with Lyme borreliosis in the province of Soria Spain. Eur L Epidemiol.