(by Bruce Halliday)
There are about 80 known species of ticks, order Ixodida, in Australia (Roberts 1970; Keirans et al. 1994, 1996). They are all blood-feeding parasites of mammals, reptiles and birds, and are characterised by mouthparts with a large number of backward-directed hooks that are inserted into the host for feeding. The best known Australian species is the paralysis tick Ixodes holocyclus, which can be dangerous to the health of humans and dogs (Anonymous 2003).
Anonymous 2003. Ticks.
Keirans J.E., King D.R. & Sharrad R.D. 1994. Aponomma (Bothriocroton) glebopalma, n. subgen., n. sp., and Amblyomma glauerti n. sp. (Acari: Ixodida: Ixodidae), parasites of monitor lizards (Varanidae) in Australia. Journal of Medical Entomology 31, 132-147.
Keirans J.E., Bull, C.M. & Duffield G.A. 1996. Amblyomma vikirri n. sp. (Acari: Ixodida: Ixodidae), a parasite of the gidgee skink Egernia stokesii (Reptilia: Scincidae) from South Australia. Systematic Parasitology 34, 1-9.
Roberts F.H.S. 1970. Australian Ticks. CSIRO, Melbourne, 267 pp.