Individuals of three species of cervids, with varying degrees of alopecia, were examined for ectoparasites: Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus) in Colorado and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in South Dakota. Hair follicle mites were recovered and identified as Demodex kutzeri, a species originally described from the European red deer (Cervus elaphus, from Austria) and the sika deer (Cervus nippon pseudaxis, captive in Germany). These findings expand the geographic range of D. kutzeri to North America and extend its host range to include the genus Odocoileus. Thus, the host range for D. kutzeri spans two subfamilies of cervids. Additionally, D. kutzeri was identified in material from a white-tailed deer collected in South Carolina in 1971, indicating this parasite has been present, but unrecognized, on US cervids for some time.
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Vol. 46 • No. 2