Notes on the Mite Pediculoides Ventricosus Newport
Psyche: A Journal of Entomology
The mite Pediculoides ventricosus Newport, attracted my attention when it completely destroyed several hundred parasites, which I was rearing. This acarid has been described as both beneficial and noxious, but this difference of opinion appears natural when one considers its. wide range and the large number of insect species which it attacks. Moreover, it has been definitely shown to cause an irritating form of dermatitis in man. Pediculoides ventricosus was observed by Newport in 1849 in the
... sts of Anthophora retusa at Gravesend, England, and was described by him in a published record in 1853. In 1879, Geber observed in Lower Hungary an eruptive epidemic coming from barley, and his investigations showed an acarid responsible for the dermatitis. Webster says that it would seem quite probable from Geber's illustrations, that the mite involved in the epidemic might have been Pediculoides ventricosus. The mite was first recorded in America in 1882 by Webster, who held that it had probably not only occurred as early as 1830 in Massachusetts, but it had also, at that date, become noxious to man. Harris in the second edition of his "Insects Injurious to Vegetation" refers to an observation he made in 1844 at Cambridge, that straw bed ticks had proved very troublesome to children sleeping on them because of insect bites. Harris ascribed the bites to Isosoma hordei, but Webster" believes that it is more likely that Pediculoides was the cause of the dermatitis. Since 1884, many notes on the attacks of the mite upon both man and insects, have been made. Pediculoides is widely distributed. It has been reported throughout the United States and Canada, especially in the regions where grain is grown, in virtually all of Europe, parts of Africa, ndtably Egypt, and in India. This mite feeds principally upon larvm and pupae of such a 1Contribution from the Entomological Laboratory of the Bussey Institution, Harvard University. No. 28.