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Ecological studies of the cattle tick, Boophilus microplus, in the north coast district of New South Wales

RN McCulloch and IJ Lewis

Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 19(4) 689 - 710
Published: 1968


During the years 1962–1965, engorged female ticks (Boophilus microplus (Canestrini)) were exposed at frequent intervals at diverse sites in northern New South Wales, and egg laying, egg development, and the survival of larval populations observed and recorded. Ticks were also exposed in Stevenson screens (in humidified containers), where temperature could be measured. From the results the following conclusions are drawn:

(1) The maximum longevity of the non-parasitic stages of the cattle tick in Australia would be 7½ months. An earlier record placing the figure at 10½ months is shown almost certainly to be erroneous. The great majority of larvae die within 6 months of the parent leaving its host.

(2) In the warmer parts of the Tick Quarantine Area ticks falling in favourable situations may lay viable eggs in any month. Thus winter checks development but does not prevent it. The tick population is at its lowest level in September.

(3) The cattle tick could probably survive as a pest as far south as Newcastle.

(4) The time of year for the start of an eradication campaign would not be of first importance. For a programme of strategic dipping aiming at economical control, the optimum time for beginning would be early October in the areas most favourable to the tick.

© CSIRO 1968

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