Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A&M University System
Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University
Chicken body louse
Chicken body louse, Menacanthus stramineus (Nitzsch). File photo.
Click on image to enlarge
Chicken body louse,
Menacanthus stramineus (Nitzsch)
(Phthiraptera: Menoponidae).
TAEX file photo.

Common Name: Chicken body louse
Order: Phthiraptera
Scientific Name: Menacanthus stramineus (Nitzsch)

Description: Lice are small, flat, wingless, parasitic insects with mouthparts formed for chewing or sucking. At maturity, they are about 1/6 to 3/16 inches long. Legs and antennae are short.

Life Cycle: Immature stages resemble the adults except for size.

Habitat, Food Source(s): The chicken body louse, Menacanthus stramineus (Nitzsch) is an example of a chewing louse. They can be found on domestic fowl and can be a pest especially in confined poultry operations.

Pest Status, Damage: Lice are categorized in two suborders, the Mallophaga or chewing lice and Anoplura or sucking lice. Mallophaga feed upon feathers of birds or on hair and skin scales of mammals. They are important pests of domestic fowl and livestock, but they do not live on man. Anoplura suck blood from mammals only.

Management: See Managing External Parasites on Livestock and Poultry.

For additional information, contact your local Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent or search for other state Extension offices.

From the book:
Field Guide to Texas Insects,
Drees, B.M. and John Jackman,
Copyright 1999
Gulf Publishing Company,
Houston, Texas

A Field Guide to Common Texas Insects, Bastiaan M. Drees and John A. Jackman.
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