A deadly little fella!
The paralysis tick is found in a variety of habitats across the humid coastal regions of eastern Australia, particularly wet sclerophyll forests and temperate rainforest areas.
There are at least 74 species of ticks in Australia but only a handful of these are known to bite people. In the humid coastal region of eastern Australia almost all tick bites on people are from the Australian Paralysis Tick, Ixodes holocyclus. This tick also feeds on many other mammals and birds. Australian Paralysis Ticks occur in areas of high humidity, especially in gullies, wet sclerophyll forests, rainforest edges and regrowth, lantana thickets and grassy areas near these. All sizes and life stages of Paralysis ticks can be found at any time of year, but there are distinct seasonal peaks for each stage.
The natural hosts of the paralysis ticks are native Australian animals in the bush. However, ticks commonly attach to other non-native hosts, including dogs and humans. Paralysis ticks are the most concerning tick species for pet owners and vets in Australia, as one bite from a paralysis tick can kill a dog.
There are two species of paralysis ticks in Australia, the Australian paralysis tick and the Tasmanian paralysis tick
Paralysis ticks, also called dog ticks, shell-back ticks or scrub ticks are a serious parasite occurringon the East Coast of Australia. They inject a toxin causing paralysis that can be fatal in domestic animals, both pets and LIVESTOCK. The toxin can also affect humans. More than 80,000 cases of tick toxicosis, mainly in domestic pets are treated each year in eastern Australia.