Menacanthus stramineus

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Menacanthus stramineus (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Basma Ouarti et al.
Source: Parasite (2020) 27, 28

Menacanthus stramineus (Nitzsch, 1818) - (chicken body louse)

This chewing louse is widely distributed and can be common on chicken and turkey. It feeds on the skin, blood and on feather debris, causing irritation to its host, and reddening of the skin. Certain body parts are preferred, and high populations might build up on these, especially under caged conditions. It might transmit a variety of pathogenic bacteria like Pasteurella multocida or Salmonella gallinarum.

The life cycle of the louse, from egg to adult is around 2 weeks. The adults are fast-moving and about 3.5 mm long, with an elongated body and a yellowish colour. The head is triangular, with short antennae. The legs have 2 claws each.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Hühner-Körperlaus
• English: chicken body louse
• Français: pou du corps des poulets