Texas Nature Observations and Reminiscenses Page: 42
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42 TEXAS NATURE OBamitVATIONS AND REMINISCENCES.
cially regarding the parasites
found, as, from first appearance
it appeared to me that the mite
was not a species of the common
acari, found occasionally in de-
caying material or detritus, or
fruit, vegetables, cheese, flour,
etc., but that it was a true sar-
coptes-not, however, the common
itch parasite of man. In this onin-
ion I was sustained by Dr. A. E.
Boeckling, an expert on parasitic
mites, and also by Prof. Allen J.
Smith, Pathologist of the Galves-
ton University. Both of these
gentlemen had taken a great in-
terest in the seemingly trivial
matter, which, of course, could on-
ly be settled by a close microscopic
examination and comparison with
other similar mites. Having se-
cured one especially fine specimen
among the cuticular scrapings, I
mounted it separately from the
other remnants and forwarded it
to Prof. Virchow, after having it
investigated by our Smithsonian
experts, etc., but never received a
reply from Berlin (perhaps it had
not reached its destination).
This mite is of the size of the
common itch mite, hardly visible
to the naked eye, of yellowish-
brown color, supplied with eight
legs, jointed, and the pedal ex-
tremities art supplied with a suck-
ing disk-characteristic of the sa'-
coptes or itch-parasite. The eight
legs are decidedly thoracic, not
marginal, and the specimen pre-
served was a male one-the sex
found being considered by ex-
perts as of rare occurance. In
comparing this mite with the com-
mon cheese mites and fruit acari,
our mite shows the legs, jaws, ab-
domen and bristles more fully de-
veloped, the latter closer to the
base of the abdomen and larger
As seen on the photo-reproduc-
tions, I succeeded in making sev
eral microphotos of the parasite,
in different stadia, and also of the
larvae. The latter is six legged;
the body and legs were semitrans-
parent and dotted throughout. I
have not encountered any such
larva in microscopic mites before.
The Smithsonian experts also de-
clared it to be the larva of the
parasite under question.
Prof. Allen Smith in October.
1896, had given me a very inter-
esting report on sarcoptic mites
in general, and of our acarus in
particular, and I only include here
the following points: " I have
been looking up all the data I can
get hold of in my endeavors to
identify the dermal parasite.
There seems to me to be no doubt
of the parasite being stn acarus.
The mode of articulation of its
legs, the fact of its having five
divisions io each limb, its choli-
form or pinchers-like jaws in my
mind place it surely among the
sarcoptides. (Here follows an ex-
haustive explanation of the five
tribes of lhe sarcoptes family,
having used as euide, Meguin:
("Les Parasites articules.") The
five tribes are,: Sarcoptes detri-
colles, S. plumicoles, S. cysticoles,
S. glicicoles and S. sporae.** The
specimen in hand cannot belong
to the first tribe. It differs in
being provided with a somewhat
rugous integument, in having un-
equal limbs, and, I believe, dis-
similar in having a distinct cleft
in the abdominal extremity. It is
not to be mixed up with the bird-
infesting sarcoptes (S. plumicoles)
the latter has all its legs well de-
veloped and never even tending to
be abortive (as in the last pair of
R's parasite) and never produce
painful or itching sensations (by
some poison in its bite.* * *
I would place R.'s parasite, from
its shape, its somewhat striated
coat, its undeveloped hind pair of
legs, and its power to produce
itching, among the true itch-sar-
coptides. * * * I believe the R.
parasite to correspond with the
genus of chorioptes. As to species.
I am still uncertain, but believe it
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Menger, R. Texas Nature Observations and Reminiscenses, book, 1913; San Antonio, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143558/m1/46/?q=menger: accessed March 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.