We found trombiculid mite (Trombiculidae) infestations in 32 of 101 (32%) free-ranging Florida black bears (Ursus americanus floridanus) live-captured or necropsied in Florida from January 1999 to April 2000. Prevalence of chigger infestation was greatest in June with no infestations seen October to March. Chigger infestations were recognized as accumulations of bright orange granular material usually associated with hair shafts. Mites were found in clusters of one to 102 (mean ± SD = 8.5 ± 19.5) and were distributed primarily over the ventral abdomen and thorax, inguinal and axillary regions, and proximal medial aspect of the extremities. Mites were identified as larval Eutrombicula splendens. Cutaneous lesions were seen in two of 32 (6%) infested bears.
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Vol. 37 • No. 3