Two New Species of Demodex (Acari: Demodecidae) with a Redescription of Demodex musculi and Data on Parasitism in Mus musculus (Rodentia: Muridae)

J Med Entomol. 2015 Jul;52(4):604-13. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjv046. Epub 2015 Apr 29.


This article describes two new skin mite species found on the house mouse Mus musculus L., 1758. Demodex marculus sp. nov. is a very small demodecid mite (adult stages, on average, 99 µm in length) found in mouse skin in the abdomen, back, limbs, and anal area. It is characterized by relatively large bossing hammer-shaped supracoxal spines, embedded in the trapezoidal gnathosoma. Demodex fusiformis sp. nov., in turn, is a little larger (adult stages on average 111 µm in length), with a small oval gnathosoma equipped with fine, knob-like supracoxal spines. It was found in the skin of abdomen, back, and limbs. Moreover, Demodex musculi (Oudemans, 1897) was redescribed, which is small demodecid mite (adult stages on average 142 µm in length) and characterized by relatively large morphological variation and considerable sexual dimorphism. The characteristic feature of this species is the strongly elongated and rectangular gnathosoma equipped with very large wedge-shaped supracoxal spines. D. musculi was found in the skin of various, haired regions of the mice body (head, neck, abdomen, back, limbs, genital-anal region, and tail). Moreover, one more demodecid mite was found in the skin of the examined mice, it was Demodex flagellurus Bukva, 1985, which was found only in the genital area. Overall infection of Mus musculus L. by all species of Demodex was with the prevalence of 100%, mean intensity of 24.0, and range of intensity of 1-109. Despite high infection levels, no symptoms of parasitosis were observed in the hosts.

Keywords: Demodex flagellurus; Demodex fusiformis; Demodex marculus; Demodex musculi; Mus musculus.

MeSH terms

  • Acari / anatomy & histology*
  • Acari / classification*
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice / parasitology*
  • Poland