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Resistance to Boophilus microplus (Canestrini) in different breeds of cattle

KBW Utech, RH Wharton and JD Kerr

Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 29(4) 885 - 895
Published: 1978


Resistance to the cattle tick Boophilus microplus was assessed in heifer herds of various breeds of beef and dairy cattle in spring and summer in Queensland. All cattle had had tick experience before assessment. Resistance levels were determined as the percentage of larval ticks that failed to survive to maturity following infestations with c. 20,000 larvae. Bos indicus Brahman beef cattle were the most resistant (99%), followed by B. indicus × B. taurus (95–97%) and B. taurus British cattle (85%). In the dairy breeds, B. taurus Jersey cattle (98%) were more resistant than Guernsey (93%), Australian Illawarra Shorthorn (89%), and Friesian (85%), but not significantly different from B. indicus × B. taurus Australian Milking Zebu (96%). Cattle were classified as having high (> 98%), moderate (95–98%), low (90–95%), or very low (< 90%) resistance. The frequency distributions of resistance in B. indicus × B. taurus cattle showed that 80% had moderate to high resistance and that culling of 20% of the cattle would about halve the mean tick population. Of B. taurus cattle, 80% had low to very low resistance. Supplementary information on sibling bull herds showed that their resistance levels and frequency distributions of resistance were similar to those of the heifer herds.

© CSIRO 1978

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