Chicken Body Louse




AdultNymphs on bird

  Classification  

Order:   Mallophaga

  Development  

Hemimetabola

  Ecological role  

Parasite

Economic
  importance  

Injures fowls by chewing dry skin scales and feathers, not by sucking blood.   Heavy infestations can cause severe skin irritation, weight loss, and reduced egg production.   Birds may become more susceptible to disease; infested chicks and hens may die.

Distinguishing
  characteristics  

Small, wingless external parasites.   Adults are flat-bodied, yellowish colored, and 1 /16 inch long with broad heads and chewing mouthparts.   They have 3 pairs of short, two-clawed legs with 2 rows of setae on each abdominal segment and a pair of 4-segmented antennae.




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Last Updated:   21 October 2003
John R. Meyer
Department of Entomology
NC State University