Sarcoptidae


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Sarcoptidae

 

(itch mites), a family of minute parasitic mites of the order Sarcoptiformes. The insects parasitize the skin of mammals, including humans, causing a burning itch (acariasis or sarcoptiasis). The light yellow body measures 0.2–0.5 mm in length. There are no eyes or tracheae. The eight pairs of short legs end in suckers or bristles. The family embraces approximately 20 species. The females burrow long, twisting passages in the skin and fill them with ova and feces. In four to seven days the larvae hatch. In another 14 days the mites attain sexual maturity and begin to burrow, forming new channels. They mate on the skin surface, after which the males die.