Psoroptes cuniculi

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Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Class Arachnida
Sub-class Acari
Order Sarcoptiformes
Family Psoroptidae
Genus Psoroptes
Species Psoroptes cuniculi

Also known as: Ear canker mite


Psoroptes cuniculi (Sourced from Joel Mills, Wikimedia Commons)

Psoroptes cuniculi is a non-burrowing parasite, of the class Arachnida and is seen worldwide. It is found on the ears of the infected host and is generally seen in relatively small amounts. However, occasionally they will proliferate and the infection will become severe resulting in mange. In rabbits, they cause Ear Canker.

Predilection site: Ears


Commonly of rabbits, but also seen in goats, sheep and horses.


Adults mite grow up to around 0.75mm in length. The legs are long and jointed, bearing suckers on the ends on pairs 1, 2, and 4 in the female and 1, 2, and 3 in the male. The adults also have very characteristic pointed mouthparts.

It is highly likely that P. cuniculi is simply an adaptation of the species Psoroptes ovis.

Life Cycle

The egg hatches forming an hexapod larvae. The larvae then moults forming a protonymph, which further moults to form a tritonymph, which then moults to become an adult. Each stage takes around two days, totalling to an approximate 10 day life cycle.

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