External parasites (Mites and Ticks)

Mites are small (grain-sized) red or orange arachnids that are typically found around the eyes, inside the ears, armpits and the base of the thighs and tail of lizards. Mites occur on individuals in wild populations where they may occasionally be shed from time to time. In captivity, they are usually not a cause for concern, however, they can spread to other lizards and may debilitate them in large numbers. Mites can be removed from individuals by dabbing them with Vaseline and wiping them away after a few minutes. For stubborn mites or severe infestations, the Best Practice Guide recommends consulting with your vet about a treatment that contains Fipronil (e.g. Frontline). See Section 8.2 (Ectoparasites) of the Best Practice Guide to Keeping Lizards in Captivity for further information.


Chigger mites on O.kokowai
Chigger mites in the armpit of a wild northern
spotted skink (Marlborough sounds) © Nick Harker
Wild Raukawa gecko with mites in eye (Poor Knights Islands). (Nick Harker)
Raukawa gecko with mites around eye 
© Nick Harker