Iranian Journal of Parasitology 2014. 9(4):594-596.

Human Dermatitis Caused by Ophionyssus natricis, a Snake Mite.
Emad Amanatfard, Mohammad Reza Youssefi, Alireza Barimani


Ophionyssus natricis is a purely blood sucking parasite of snakes and of worldwide distribution. Infected snakes often exhibit lethargy, pruritus, crusting dermatitis,and behavioral changes. Ophionyssus natricis can also attack humans, causing popular vesiculo-bullous eruption of the skin. A 29 years old man working in zoo,Sari, Mazandaran, Iran, presented itchy papullar eruption of the skin. He had noticed small insects fixed on his skin and large numbers of these same insects on a python and its cage in the zoo. Regarding totheir morphological characteristics they were diagnosed as O. natricis (Geravis, 1844), a snake mite. It is the first report of O. natricis from Iran.


Dermatitis; Iran; Ophionyssus natricis; Python snake

Full Text:



Mader D, Skin Diseases of Exotic Pets Reptile Medicine and Surgery. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, W. B. Saunders: Wiley-Blackwell. 2006.

Telford SR, Parasitic Diseases of Reptiles. J Am Vet Med Assoc.1971; 159: 1644-1652.

Kahn C, Line S. Reptiles in the Merck Veterinary Manual. 3rd ed. Whitehouse Station: Merck & Co. Inc;2005.

Schultz H,Human Infestation by Ophionyssus natricis, Snake Mite. Br J Dermatol.1975; 93: 695-697.

Camin JH. Mite Transmission of a Hemorrhagic Septicemia in Snakes. J Parasitol. 1948;34: 345-354.

Bilal D. The First Case of Ophionyssus natricis(Gervais, 1844) on a Sea Snake (Natrix tessellata, Laurente 1768) in Turkey. Turk Parasit Derg. 2012; 36: 112-115.

Taylor MA,Coop RL,Wall RL. Vet Parasitol. 3rd ed. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2007.

Lionel H, Schilliger ZM, Dipl EC. Damien M, Jesse H, Bonwitt MR.An effective candidate for the biological control of the snake mite (Ophionyssus natricis).J Zoo Wild Med.2013; 44(3): 654–659.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly.