Morphometric analysis of Psoroptes spp. mites from bighorn sheep, mule deer, cattle, and rabbits

Walter M Boyce, L. Elliott, R. Clark, D. Jessup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


A morphometric study of Psoroptes spp. mites was conducted to address difficulties encountered in species identification and to provide insights into the phylogenetic relationships between mites found on different hosts. A discriminant analysis employing 9 morphologic characters revealed that the lengths of the outer opisthosomal setae and the lateral margins of the opisthosomal knobs were the 2 most important characters for grouping mites according to host species. This analysis clearly separated mites collected from allopatric populations of bighorn sheep, rabbits, and cattle into discrete groups. However, differences were not detected between mites collected from sympatric populations of infested mule deer and bighorn sheep, suggesting that these mites were not host specific and represented a single interbreeding population. Differences also were not detected among mites collected from the ears and body of bighorn sheep and rabbits, demonstrating that the location of mites on a given host should not be used as a primary criterion in species identification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-828
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Parasitology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology


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