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Open AccessArticle

The Biodiversity of Demodecid Mites (Acariformes: Prostigmata), Specific Parasites of Mammals with a Global Checklist and a New Finding for Demodex sciurinus

Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Parasitology, Faculty of Biology, University of Gdańsk, Wita Stwosza 59, 80-308 Gdańsk, Poland
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Diversity 2020, 12(7), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12070261
Received: 31 May 2020 / Revised: 23 June 2020 / Accepted: 24 June 2020 / Published: 30 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Mites)
Demodecidae are the most specialized parasitic mites of mammals; they typically inhabit the skin, but they have been found in other tissues and organs. They can cause demodecosis (a disease which is hazardous and difficult to cure) in humans, domestic animals and livestock. They are parasites with high host and topical specificity. They have been found for most orders of mammals, and they are common in the populations of numerous host species. Therefore, they not only constitute an important subject of veterinary and medical study, but also comprise an excellent model for faunistic and parasitological analyses concerning different aspects of functioning and evolution of the host–parasite relationship. The current level or knowledge of demodecid mites is irregular and fragmentary, and numerous questions require elaboration and ordering, from the taxonomic diversity to geographic distribution and relations with hosts. Such data may be of use i.a. for the development of more efficient and reliable diagnostic methods, as well as understanding the etiology and pathogenesis mechanisms of demodecosis, currently a contentious issue. The present paper lists all formally-described valid species of demodecid mites, together with other functioning specific names, verified and with comments on their status. This is significant for correct species identification and demodecosis diagnostics. The list has been drawn up on the basis of data acquired in the period 1842−2020. It contains 122 valid species of parasite, including their hosts and geographic distribution, data on parasitism, as well as only the second record of Demodex sciurinus in Eurasian red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris in over 100 years since its initial discovery.
Keywords: Acariformes; Demodecidae; Prostigmata; checklist; diversity; parasites Acariformes; Demodecidae; Prostigmata; checklist; diversity; parasites
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Izdebska, J.N.; Rolbiecki, L. The Biodiversity of Demodecid Mites (Acariformes: Prostigmata), Specific Parasites of Mammals with a Global Checklist and a New Finding for Demodex sciurinus. Diversity 2020, 12, 261.

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