The common snake mite, Ophionyssus natricis (Parasitiformes: Macronyssidae), is a blood feeding, mesostigmatid mite that parasitizes reptiles. Anemia, dehydration, dermatitis, and several blood-borne infectious diseases have been linked to infestations (Camin, 1948Camin, 1953, Chiodini, et al, 1983). Severe pruritic dermatitis has been reported in humans bitten by Ophionyssus natricis (Schultz, 1975, Beck, 1996). All levels of Ophionyssus natricis infestation should be considered a serious problem worthy of prompt treatment. This article describes the general morphology, biology, and behavior of each life stage and discusses the components of an integrated control and prevention program for the maintenance of mite-free snake collections.

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