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The index specimen was identified as the tropical rat mite, Ornithonyssus bacoti (Hirst).1 The tropical rat mite is distinguished from ectoparasitic insects such as lice by having an unsegmented body and 4 pairs of legs (in adults and nymphs; larvae have 3 pairs of legs). The tropical rat mite is distinguished from other blood-feeding mites, such as the chicken mite, house mouse mite, and northern fowl mite, by a genital plate pointed posteriorly, an anal plate that is oval in shape, a single dorsal plate pointed posteriorly, and setae on dorsal plate equal in length to dorsal setae not inserted on plate.
Pruritic Maculopapular Dermatitis in a Household—Diagnosis. Arch Dermatol. 2010;146(12):1419–1424. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2010.358-b
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