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Ectoparasites - Linognathus

Linognathus vituli: Long-nosed or blue cattle louse. Common in New Zealand.

General Description: Wingless insect, 2.5mm in length, with a long narrow head and slender body. The mouth parts are adapted for sucking. These lice are blue in colour due to blood seen through the yellowish-brown body wall.

Life Cycle: Typical life cycle of lice takes 1 month.

Location: Most often found on protected areas of skin: side of neck, brisket, back, head, and between the legs.

Geographical Distribution: Widely distributed throughout the world.

Significance: This is a common parasite of cattle which can cause serious damage if present in large numbers.

Effects on Host: Louse worry is great, causing cattle to lick, scratch, and rub affected areas. This causes the coat to become rough. Anaemia may arise if infestation is heavy. Anemia leads to debilitation which makes animals susceptible to infectious diseases and extremes in environmental temperature.

Diagnostic Information: Lice may be seen on skin.

Control: Insecticides in various preparations are effective.

   
Linognathus – adult   Lice in hair   Nit containing larva

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