Menopon gallinae

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Menopon gallinae (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Public Health Image Library
Source: iNaturalist

Menopon gallinae (Linnaeus, 1758) - (poultry shaft louse)

This chewing louse is widely distributed and infests chicken, ducks and other poultry. It prefers certain body parts like the chest or the shoulders. The mandibles are blunt (not pointed) and the louse feeds mainly on skin scrapings and feather debris, but also on blood if the skin is damaged. The feeding activities lead to itching and the loss of feathers. M. gallinae can transmit a variety of pathogenic bacteria like Pasteurella multocida or Salmonella gallinarum.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Schaftlaus
• English: shaft louse
poultry shaft louse
• Français: ménopon pâle

The adults are pale yellow, around 2 mm long and move rapidly. The 4-segmented antennae are located in grooves on the head. Females arrange their eggs in a string.