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Canine Biting Louse Trichodectes canis

Canine Biting Louse Trichodectes canis

In the wingless insect suborder of chewing lice (Mallophaga), Trichodectes canis is the louse species that most commonly feeds on domestic dogs and other canids such as coyotes, wolves, and foxes that often have contact dogs. Unlike ticks and other parasites, the 2,800 species of biting lice described worldwide are very host specific. The dog louse or canine biting louse is about 1.5 millimeters in length with a dorsoventrally flattened body and a broad, flat head. As representatives of the Isonocera group, chewing lice extend their highly visible trisegmented antennae laterally. Each of the three pairs of legs is armed with a strong claw for digging into the host canid, even in the face of frantic biting and scratching.

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