oa Annals of the Natal Museum - A new family of Acarines belonging to the suborder Sarcoptiformes parasitic in the hair follicles of Primates

Volume 16, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0304-0798



A recent survey of ectoparasites of primates received from South America by the Primate Research Foundation of Burlingame, California, has brought to light two new species of a remarkable new family of sarcoptiform mites which inhabit the sinus-hair follicles of a squirrel monkey, Saimiri sciurea. The mites were found after pieces of the lip of a male monkey which had died at Burlingame had been dissolved in potassium hydroxide. Following the discovery of the parasites, an extensive series of histological sections was prepared from the lips of animals originally obtained from the Primate Research Foundation and maintained in captivity for several months at the Hooper Foundation. A study of this material enabled the exact relationship of the mites to the hair follicle to be determined and provided evidence that infestation with the acarines may give rise to the destruction of the follicle as a result of secondary infection. In this paper a descriptionption is given of the two new species of mites discovered in the follicles. A new genus and a new family of the suborder Sarcoptiformes are proposed for the new species, the descriptionptions of which are based only on the female sex since no males were found despite a diligent search of a dozen monkeys. The localization of the mites in the skin is briefly descriptionbed; a longer report descriptionbing the host-parasite relationship and the occurrence of follicular and perifollicular changes following infestation of the follicles will be published elsewhere.

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