Leptotrombidium - Life History

Life History

The larva is pale orange in colour and feeds on liquified skin tissue, not blood, as their mouth parts (chelicerae) are too short to reach the blood vessels. They have 3 pairs of legs. The larvae most commonly target rodents, but will also attach to humans. For humans, the bite is painless, but pain commonly develops only after the larva detaches from the skin, leaving a red papule that may then develop into an eschar.

The larval stage lasts for 1 to 2 weeks. After feeding, the larvae drop to the ground and become nymphs. Nymph is brick-red in colour and has 4 pairs of legs. Nymphal stage lasts for 1 to 3 weeks. Nymphs mature into adults which have 4 pairs of legs, first pair being the largest. They are harmless to humans. In the post larval stage, they are not parasitic and feed on plant materials. Female lays eggs singly, which hatch in about a week. Lifespan of adult is about 6 months.

Read more about this topic:  Leptotrombidium

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