Chorioptes bovis

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Chorioptes bovis are surface mites of the skin surface of horses and cattle mainly, but also affect goats, sheep and rabbits. They cause parasitic skin infestation and are less pathogenic than Psoroptes mites.

Predilection sites: Skin- especially legs, feet (particularly heavily feathered horses), udder, abdomen and base of tail


The mites have an oval body with long legs and cup shaped suckers on their unsegmented pedicles. Their mouthparts cannot pierce the skin. The females measure about 300μm in length.

Life cycle

The lifecycle of Chorioptes bovis mites takes 3 weeks. The females lay their eggs on the skin surface around the edge of a skin lesion. The eggs hatch and the larvae pass through two nymphal stages before developing into adults. Eggs are found attached to the surface of the skin.


The mites live at the base of the host's hair and feed on skin debris. They cause irritation by feeding, which leads to the animal rubbing itself and creating lesions. Adults can survive off the ground for around three weeks, meaning transmission can be via bedding and housing as well as by direct contact.


Diagnosis is confirmed by a skin scrape from an affected region. Chorioptic Mange must be differentiated from Sarcoptic Mange.

Chorioptic Mange

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