A Checklist of Chigger Mites (Acari: Trombiculidae and Leeuwenhökiidae) from Taiwan, With Descriptions of Three New Species

Lo Hsuan Chung, Wen Jer Wu, Chi Chien Kuo, Hsi Chieh Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Scrub typhus is a lethal human disease transmitted by larval trombiculid mites (i.e., chiggers) that have been infected with the rickettsia Orientia tsutsugamushi. In total, 21 chigger species are known from Taiwan. We update the checklist of chiggers of Taiwan based on an intensive survey of shrew and rodent hosts in grasslands and agricultural fields in lowland Taiwan, coupled with surveys of forests in one mountainous site and an opportunistic examination of submitted host specimens. Three new species of chiggers, Gahrliepia (Gateria) lieni sp. n., Gahrliepia (Gateria) minuta sp. n., and Gahrliepia (Gateria) yilanensis sp. n., as well as 23 newly recorded chigger species, were discovered. Accordingly, recorded chigger species of Taiwan more than doubled from 21 to 47 species. Two new species and nine newly recorded chigger species were discovered in forests in one mountainous site in northeastern Taiwan, suggesting that many more chigger species may be uncovered, particularly in mountainous Taiwan. Further studies should also investigate O. tsutsugamushi infection in different chigger species to assess its risks to human health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1241-1253
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
Volume52
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov

Keywords

  • Gahrliepia
  • Gateria
  • checklist
  • taxonomy
  • trombiculid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases

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