Minor Arthropod Problems Of Medicalveterinary Interest

In addition to arthropod groups detailed in the chapters that follow, a few arthropods in other groups may have minor, incidental, or occasional significance to human and animal health. These include springtails (order Collembola), bark lice (order Pscoptera), walking sticks (order Phasmida), mayflies (order Ephemeroptera), earwigs (order Dermaptera), thrips (order Thysanoptera), caddisflies (order Trichoptera), centipedes (class Chilopoda), and millipedes (class Diplopoda).

On rare occasions, springtails have been recorded infesting human skin (Scott et al. 1962, Scott 1966). Similarly, some bark lice (psocids) are known to cause allergies or dermatitis in humans (Li and Li 1995, Baz and Monserrat 1999). Certain adult mayflies and caddisflies can cause inhalational allergies, especially when they emerge in large numbers from lakes, rivers, or streams (Seshadri 1955).

In addition to various hymenopterans, arachnids, and other venomous arthropods detailed in the following chapters, a few miscellaneous arthropods produce venoms that can cause medical-veterinary problems. These include walking sticks (stick insects) and millipedes, some of which utilize venomous defensive secretions or sprays. Defensive sprays of certain walking sticks can cause conjunctivitis (Stewart 1937), whereas defensive sprays of some millipedes contain hydrochloric acid that can chemically burn the skin and can cause long-term skin discoloration (Radford 1975). Centipedes, especially some of the larger tropical species, can cause envenomation when they "bite" with their poison claws (maxillipeds), which are equipped with poison ducts and glands (Remington 1950).

Thrips, which have tubular mouthparts adapted for sucking plant fluids, occasionally pierce the skin and have been known to imbibe blood (Williams 1921, Hood 1927, Bailey 1936, Arnaud 1970). On rare occasions, earwigs also have been recorded as imbibing blood (Bishopp 1961). Bishopp further noted that earwigs have been known to pierce human skin with their pair of caudal pincers (cerci) and may stay attached for an extended period.

Some miscellaneous arthropods inhabit the feathers of birds or the fur of mammals. The exact nutritional requirements of some of these arthropods remain unknown; most of them, however, do not appear to be true ectoparasites. Representatives of two of the three suborders of earwigs (suborders Arixeniina and Hemimerina) live in mammal fur. The Arixeniina are associated with Old World bats, whereas the Hemimerina are found on African cricetomyine rodents (Nakata and Maa 1974). These earwigs may feed on skin secretions or sloughed cells, but their effect on the health of their hosts is poorly understood. Other occasional inhabitants of host pelage, such as various beetles, cheyletid mites, and pseudoscorpions, are predators of ectoparasites and are therefore beneficial to their hosts (Durden 1987).

A few arthropods that are not mentioned in the following chapters can occasionally serve as intermediate hosts of parasites that adversely affect domestic and wild animals. These include certain springtails znApsocids (bark lice) as intermediate hosts of tapeworms (Baz and Monserrat 1999).

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