Anopluran - Sucking Lice
Anopluran lice are found only on placental mammals. They feed on the blood of hosts via their piercing mouth parts, consisting of three stylets, and thus have been dubbed "sucking lice." Example genera include Haematopinus, Linognathus, Solenoptes, Polyplax, Pediculus, and Phthirus.
Haematopinus eurysternus Also known as the short-nosed cattle louse, Haematopinus eurysternus is considered to be the most economically important louse of cattle. They are usually found on the top of the neck, base of the horns, brisket, and tips of the ears, but may be found anywhere when an animal is heavily infested.
Haematopinus suis adults feeding on a pig. The largest species of louse to infect domestic animals, Haematopinus suis, or the hog louse as it is commonly known, is an obligate ectoparasite of wild and domestic swine. A known carrier of Swine Pox, the hog louse is associated with intense pruritis and often confused with mange.
Haematopinus quadripertusus nymphs on the vulva of an adult cow. Haematopinus quadripertusus adults are found almost exclusively in the hair at the end of cattle tails, lending their common name the 'tail-switch louse.' They lay their nits on tail heads and switches. Upon hatching, nymphs migrate to the soft skin around the anus, vulva, and eyes. Once they molt, they migrate one more time back to the tail switch.
Known as the pubic louse or crab louse, Phthirus pubis infests only humans. Lice are extremely host specific and Phthirus pubis is not known to survive and reproduce on pets or other animals. A related species, Phthirus gorillae, has been described from mountain gorillas.
Photo by Brian Herrin, Kansas State University
Mallophagan - Chewing Lice
Mallophagan or "chewing lice" are found on both birds and mammals, ingesting skin, keratin from feathers or hair, and secretions of their hosts. Three suborders are described - Ischnocera (e.g. Damalinia spp.), Amblycera (e.g. Gliricola spp.), and Rhynchophthirina (Haematomyzus spp.).
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