Psoroptes cuniculi

Etiology :  Psoroptes cuniculi is a non-burrowing ear mite of rabbits.  The life cycle is completed in about 21 days.

Incidence:  The incidence of infection is uncommon in research animals.

Transmission:  Transmission occurs by direct contact, although the mites can live off of the host for up to 21 days.

Distribution:  Mites are distributed in the external ear canals. The mites may spread to the face, neck, and legs.  There is one report of spread to the hindquarters.

Clinical Signs:  Clinical signs include light to heavy brown crusts in the outer ear canal. Severe infestations may result in mild head-shaking, but mites do not invade the inner ear.

Diagnosis:  Perform a direct examination of ear canal and microscopic examination of crusts or ear swabs to diagnose mite infection.

Diagnostic Morphology:

Pedicel:  Unsegmented

Ambulacral Suckers (Female):  Leg pairs 1, 2, & 4

Arabulacral Suckers (Male): Leg pairs 1, 2, & 3

Bilobed Idiosoma: Present

Female Size: 400 x 750 µm

Male Size: 370 x 550 µm

Anal Slit Position: Terminal

Rear Leg Length: Rear legs project beyond the body margin