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Otodectes cynotis (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Joel Mills
Source: Wikimedia Commons


The species in the family of Psoroptidae are skin parasites of mammals. Economically the most important species is the sheep scab mite, Psoroptes ovis which infests sheep and some other domestic and wild animals. The species cause a disease called psoroptic mange which includes skin irritations and hair loss.

The mites usually do not pierce the skin but scrape it, causing abrasions. Taxonomically, the family is characterized by long terminal setae on the third pair of legs, the legs usually have claws and males have anal suckers. The fourth pair of legs might be very small.

The following genera and individual species are currently entered under this family: