A 2-year-old domestic turkey was found dead on a farm and was submitted for necropsy.
The following organism was found infesting the feathers:
Many thanks to Erin Stayton, DVM, Resident in Anatomic Pathology at OSU-CVHS for providing case history and to Megan Wohltjen, technician in Parasitology at the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and Masters student in Veterinary Biomedical Sciences at OSU-CVHS, for providing the photo.
This is Menopon gallinae, the chicken body louse or shaft louse, a type of chewing louse that infests chickens, turkeys and ducks on their breast and thigh feathers. It has a life cycle of ~3 wk. and normally feeds on bits of skin or feather products. Heavy populations of this louse on birds decrease reproductive potential in males, egg production in females, and weight gain. This louse is 1.5–3.5 mm in length and pale yellow. The head is widely and smoothly rounded at its anterior profile and palps are small and aligned with the bases of the antennae. All legs end in a pair of claws, and abdominal segments have sparse arrays of short and medium setae.
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