chewing louse

insect
also called  biting louse,  

      any of about 2,900 species of small, wingless insects (order Phthiraptera), worldwide in distribution, that have chewing mouthparts, a flattened body, and shortened front legs used to transport food to the mouth. Chewing lice may be from 1 to 5 mm (0.039 to 0.19 inch) in length, and their colour ranges from white to black. The life cycle is spent on the feathers or hair of the host, though one genus lives in the throat pouches of pelicans and cormorants.

      Chewing lice attack mainly birds (see bird louse) and some mammals (as Bovicola on cattle), but they are not human parasites. Many species are host specific. One dog louse is the intermediate host of the dog tapeworm, and one rat louse transmits murine typhus among rats. Chewing lice that are parasitic on mammals feed on skin secretions, dried blood, fur, and skin debris. Although they are not blood suckers, chewing lice can cause serious discomfort. Symptoms of infestation include itching, loss of appetite, and lowered egg production in fowl. Infested animals are usually treated with a dust or dip.

      Some authorities consider the two suborders as a single group called Mallophaga.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Chewing louse — Taxobox | name = Amblycera regnum = Animalia phylum = Arthropoda classis = Insecta ordo = Phthiraptera subordo=MallophagaChewing lice (Mallophaga) have nearly 3000 species and represent the larger of the two traditional suborders of lice (cf.… …   Wikipedia

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  • louse — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) n. vermin, bug, parasite; Slang, lout, cad, rascal, bounder, dog, stinker, SOB, rat. See animal, evildoer. II (Roget s IV) n. Syn. Hemiptera (Latin), pediculus, mite; see insect . Types of lice include:… …   English dictionary for students

  • Bird louse — refers to any chewing louse (paraphyletic suborder Mallophaga) which parasitizes birds. Recent reclassification has found that bird lice belong to two suborders, Amblycera and Ischnocera, although some members of these suborders do not parasitize …   Wikipedia

  • bird louse — n. any of an order (Mallophaga) of small, wingless insects with biting mouthparts, that live as external parasites on birds * * * ▪ insect       any of two groups of chewing lice (order Phthiraptera) that live on birds and feed on feathers, skin …   Universalium

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