Demodex crocidurae, a New Demodecid Mite (Acariformes: Prostigmata) Parasitizing the Lesser White-Toothed Shrew and a Redescription of Demodex talpae from European Mole with Data on Parasitism in Soricomorpha

Animals (Basel). 2021 Sep 17;11(9):2712. doi: 10.3390/ani11092712.


Only six parasitic species of Demodecidae mite have thus far been described from the Soricomorpha, these being associated with the common shrew Sorex araneus Linnaeus, 1758, and the Mediterranean water shrew Neomys anomalus Cabrera, 1907 (two species from each host), and with the lesser white-toothed shrew Crocidura suaveolens (Pallas, 1811) and the European mole Talpa europaea Linnaeus, 1758 (one from each host species). Presently, Demodex crocidurae, a new species, has been described from the territory of Poland for C. suaveolens; in order to confirm its validity, it was necessary to redescribe D. talpae Hirst, 1921, from T. europaea, a demodecid species first described by Hirst in 1921 from England and then noted only in Poland. Both species colonized the hairy skin of the body in their hosts, where no disease symptoms of infestation were observed. However, D. crocidurae showed higher infection parameters (prevalence 100%, mean intensity 11.7, intensity range 3-26 individuals) than those of D. talpae (30.0%, 4.7, 2.0-8.0), possibly due to different host biology.

Keywords: Acariformes; Demodecidae; Prostigmata; Soricidae; Talpidae; mammals; parasite; skin mites.