Order Mallophaga


The chewing lice are wingless, flat-bodied insects, parasitic on birds and, to some extent, mammals (warm-blooded animals that have hair). They have chewing mouthparts and feed on bits of hair, feathers, scales and dried blood. They develop with gradual metamorphosis, the life stages being the egg, nymph, and adult. All adults are wingless. Chewing lice attack all kinds of wild and domesticated birds as well as many of the common mammals. The eggs are glued to the feathers or hair of the host.

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Chelopistes meleagridis - turkey louse

Habitat: Found on turkey wing and body feathers

Trichodectes canis (DeGeer) - Dog biting louse

Habitat: Found on coyotes, more commonly found in winter.

**most of the images included in these pages are from the 'Insects in Kansas' Book. They are freely available for student and noncommercial use (according to their copyright agreement with each photographer) at the PDIS image site, http://www.pdis.org/default.aspx

For additional information on Mallophaga, please check out the following websites: