Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology

Dispersal of the Australian reptile tick Aponomma hydrosauri by host movement

CM Bull

Australian Journal of Zoology 26(4) 689 - 697
Published: 1978


The lizard Trachydosaurus rugosus is the main host for the tick Aponomma hydrosauri in a study area near Tickera, S.A. The distance that a tick disperses while attached to a particular host will be the distance between the positions occupied by the host at the times of tick attachment and of tick detachment. It is suggested that the distribution of lizard recapture distances may be used to estimate the distribution of distances that ticks disperse while on a single host. Both random recaptures of paint-marked lizards and regular recaptures of radio-marked lizards gave estimates of a mean dispersal distance of about 40 m, with a possible maximum of 270 m. Lizard home ranges, of between 2000 and 5000 m2, overlap extensively and provide limited opportunities for dispersal up to 800 m during a tick's life. Extensive mixing of adjacent tick populations would be prevented by the restricted movements of their hosts.

© CSIRO 1978

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