Leporacarus gibbus

Etiology:  L. gibbus is a small, nonburrowing mite.  It is an obligate parasite, completing all stages of the life cycle on the host.

Incidence: The incidence of infection is uncommon.  L. gibbus is less common than Cheyletiella parasitovorax.

Transmission: Transmission occurs by direct contact.

Distribution:  Mites can be found over the entire body, but tend to concentrate in particular areas.  L. gibbus is concentrated over the rump.

Clinical Signs:  Clinical signs are not usually observed. Signs occasionally include a moist dermatitis which affects the back, groin, and ventral abdomen.



1. Pluck or brush hairs and examine subgrossly (dissecting microscope) or microscopically for mites or eggs.

2. Run cellophane tape against the grain of the fur, place on a slide and examine microscopically for mites or their eggs. This method is not very reliable for detection.


1. Place pelage (fur) samples collected in a Petri dish. As the pelage cools, mites will migrate towards the tips of the hair shafts and be visible with a dissecting microscope.

2. Place pelage samples on black construction paper. As the pelt cools, the mites will crawl away, and be visible as brown specks on the black background. *Be sure to ring the edges of the construction paper with double stick tape, so that the mites do not escape the area.

Diagnostic Morphology:Mites are brown, ovoid with short, ventrally directed legs. Males have a posterior clasping organ.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Marta Avanzi