Leporacarus

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Leporacarus
Phylum Arthropoda
Class Arachnida
Order Astigmata
Family Listrophoridae
Genus Leporacarus

Also known as: Leporacarus gibbus — Rabbit fur mite

Previously known as: Listrophorus gibbus

Introduction

Leporacarus mites are surface mites found on rabbits (domestic and wild) and hares. They are non-pathogenic, common mites.

Leporacarus mites may cause dermatitis in humans handling infected animals.

Identification

Adult males average 440μ long and 240μ wide and females 560μ by 310μ. The bodies of both males and females are oval, with a rounded dorsal protrusion that extends slightly beyond the mouthparts. The legs of the male are much longer in relation to the body than those of the female, and extend well beyond the body margins. Males also have prominent adanal clasping organs.

Life Cycle

The mite clings to individual hairs and feeds on sebaceous secretions and skin debris. All stages are present, and the life cycle is completed on the host. The eggs attach to the hair shafts, as do the hatched eggs, and empty larval and nymphal cuticles are left on the hair as the mites develop into adults.

Clinical Signs

They are found most commonly on the back and abdomen of rabbits.

Clinical signs in affected rabbits are alopecia, pruritus and a moist dermatitis.

The classic seborrhoea associated with Cheyletiellosis is not a feature.

Many infestations are asymptomatic.

Diagnosis

Specimens can be obtained for diagnosis by plucking, brushing or combing.

Microscopy can then be used to observe the mites.

Treatment

Ivermectin injections given weekly for 3 weeks are effective. A carbamate acaricide can also be used topically for a month.

The hutch should be cleaned out thoroughly and sprayed with a methoprene/permethrin spray.


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Leporacarus publications


References

Flynn, R. (2007) Flynn's parasites of laboratory animals John Wiley and Sons

Richardson, V. (2000) Rabbits: health, husbandry and disease John Wiley and Sons

Muller, G. (2001) Small animal dermatology Elsevier Health Sciences




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