The chicken body louse is yellowish, and each leg has two tarsal claws. The abdomen is elongated, broadly rounded posteriorly, and has two or more transverse rows of hairs on most dorsal plates. The female lives about 12 days and produces up to four eggs a day. The complete life cycle requires about 2 weeks.
The head is roughly triangular. The antennae are club shaped and mostly concealed beneath the head. The ventral portion of the forehead is armed with a pair of spinelike process. Body lice may build up large populations on poltry, especially on caged layers.
|Body lice may build large populations on poultry.
The chicken body louse is the commonest and most destructive louse found on chickens and has a worldwide distribution. It occurs on the breast, thighs and around the vent, causing a marked reddening of the skin. The lice have chewing mouthparts and do not pierce the skin and suck blood; however, may be breaks in the skin and free blood, which the lice ingest.
The eggs have characteristic filaments on the anterior half of the shell and on the operculum.They are cemented to the feathers, usually in white clusters and mostly in the basal part of the feather.
|Eggs masses attached at the base of the feathers.
The eggs are mostly deposited in white clusters at the base of the feathers, especially around the vents. The nymphs and adults are found on the feathers and skin surface where they feed on skin and feather debris and exudates.