The Demodex Folliculorum mite is a kind of parasite which lives on the humans. Mostly, these mites are harmless and go unnoticed. However, it is observed that a large number of Demodex Folliculorum can cause many unwanted symptoms and skin problems.

The Folliculorum mites mostly live in the hair follicles and they usually feed on the dead skin cells, hormones that makeup there and the oils. These D.Folliculorum mites usually live on the face, including the eyelashes and eyelids.

These mites are mostly found in males as compared to females. The people whose age is 19 to 30 year old are most likely the victims of D.Folliculorum.These Mites have a microscopic size, therefore, it is very hard for you to diagnose its presence on your own.

Demodex Folliculorum

These Species usually do not cause any harm to humans, therefore, they are considered to be an example of commensalism rather than parasitism. In case of the D.Folliculorum causes disease then it is known as demodicosis.


Common NameDemodex mite
Scientific NameDemodex folliculorum
SynonymsAcarus folliculorum Simon, 1842

Vernacular Names

  • English: Demodex folliculorum
  • Spanish: Foliculorum demodex
  • Albanian: Demodex folliculorum
  • Arabic: Demodex folliculorum
  • Chinese: 蠕形螨
  • Pashto: ډیموډیډ کوکاکوروم
  • Amharic: ዶምዶክስ ሃልዮላሎረም
  • Belarusian: угревой клешч
  • Hindi: डेमोडेक्स folliculorum
  • Tajik: Demodex омехта
  • French: Demodex folliculorum

Habitat and Ecology of Demodex Folliculorum

The habitat of Demodex Folliculorum Mite is inside the follicle hair of humans. D.Folliculorum mites like the areas where sebum production is very high and it is usually found in the hair follicles of humans.

These mites are generally present in greater number around the nose, cheeks, forehead, face, eyelids, and ears. Folliculorum mites can also be found in the buttocks and chest.

Folliculorum Mites are found above the sebaceous gland within the hair follicle, Positioned head downwards. The infested follicles generally contain around 2-6 mites, however, a greater number can occur. D. Folliculorum can travel up to 8 to 16 mm within one hour and these mites usually travel in the night.

The mites depend upon humans and they only live on the skin. if these mites leave their host then they soon dry out and die. D. Folliculorum is found in greater numbers during summer and spring as compared to other times of the year.

Geographic Range

These mites are worldwide distributed as the organism of humans. it is still unknown from which region they are originated, however, they have been associated with human beings throughout the evolutionary history.

Demodex Folliculorum inhabits the follicles hair and they usually infest in the areas of ear canals, nose and around the eyelids.

Physical Description

D. Folliculorum are weakly colored mites and probably to enable them to blend in with their environment (Human skin). These mites are also very small ranging in length from .10 to .39mm. The shape of these mites are just like a cigar and they have eight short stubby legs.

These species exhibit no segmentation just like other mites and they have completely fused abdomen and cephalothorax.

Demodex Folliculorum Habitat

The eyes of these mites are simple. The region of mouth and head contains the chelicerae ( It helps to classify them in subphylum Chelicerata) which is greatly reduced by reducing the gnathosoma to a stubby structure.

This mite particularly shows the sexual dimorphism in that female mite appears to shorten as compare to the male having a more rounded body.

The male mites also tend to be little longer as compare to the females and they are much slender in appearance too.


The whole life of mites is spent on their host. These mites cannot be obtained from any other animal besides humans.

The reproduction of these species occurs through the internal fertilization. The abdomen of both females and males bear the genital openings. The life cycle of these species generally completed around 18 to 24 days.

The Female mites usually lay eggs around 20 to 24 in the hair follicle. These eggs are nourished by the cells that are surrounding them.

When the eggs hatch and nymphs emerge, They are just like the adults but they only consist of six legs instead of eight. The remaining two legs develop as the nymph develops into an adult.


Mostly the behavior of these mites is expressed through their eating and reproductive habits.

Food Habits

The Demodex folliculorum are housed in the hair follicles. Mostly they derive their nourishment Form the host cells. The main food source of these species is the human glandular secretion within follicles. The larvae of D.Folliculorum also nourished and grow within these follicles.

Life Cycle

The Size of Female Demodex is shorter as compared to their counterpart males. Both Females and males have the genital opening and their fertilization is internal.

The mating process takes place in follicle opening and the eggs are laid inside the sebaceous glands or hair follicles. Initially, the six-legged larvae hatch after 3 to 4 days and finally develops into an adult stage about 7 days.

This mite has a total of 14 days of the life cycle. When these mites die they usually decompose inside the Sebaceous glands or hair follicles.

Mode of transmission

These mites are usually transferred from one host to other through the contact of eyebrows, hair and sebaceous glands on the nose.


In 1841 Jakob Henle made the first report on the Demodex folliculorum. At that time his presentation to the natural sciences reported in local newspaper got the attention of very few people.

In 1842 Gustav Simon a German dermatologist presented the full report on the appearance of Demodex folliculorum, he names it Acarus Folliculorum.

Acarus Folliculorum

In 1843 this genus was named Demodex by the Richard Own. After the Simons initial description of D.folliculorum, two other forms were also recognized a short form and a long form.

The Smaller mite was named Demodex Brevis, on the other hand, the long form retains the name of D.Folliculorum.

Relationship with humans

Newborn babies do not have D.folliculorum but they get it after a few years. The babies get these mites most probably from their maternal contact. It is observed only a few mites are present on the children’s that are under ten years.

On the other hand, All elderly people are infested with these mites. The increasing population can be due to the small initial infestation gradually growing over the period of time.


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Trombidiformes
  • Family: Demodicidae
  • Genus: Demodex
  • Species: D_folliculorum

Fun Facts of Demodex Folliculorum

Fun Facts of Demodex Folliculorum