J.A.L. Cooke/Oxford Scientific Films
The biting lice, or bird lice, are insects differing from the true lice in that they possess biting (rather than sucking) mouthparts. They feed on the feathers and skin of birds and occasionally on the skin of other animals. The chicken louse is a species about 0.3 cm (about 0.13 in) long, common on domestic fowl. There are also several species that are parasitic on turkeys and pigeons.
The name louse is also applied to several other small insects, such as the plant lice, bark lice, and book lice. The wood louse (also known as sowbug), a crustacean, is so called because of its superficial resemblance to lice.
Scientific classification: True lice belong to the order Phthiraptera. The crab louse is classified as Phthirus pubis, the body louse as Pediculus humanus humanus, the head louse as Pediculus humanus captitis, and the hog louse as Haematopinus suis. The horse louse is classified as Haematopinus asini and the cattle lice as Haematopinus eurysternus and Linognathus vituli. The dog louse is classified as Linognathus setosus. The biting, or bird, lice make up the suborder Mallophaga. The chicken louse is classified as Menopon gallinae. Plant, bark, and book lice belong to the order Psocoptera.