Lice Of Laboratory Animals

The principal species of lice that parasitize laboratory mammals have been described by Kim et al. (1973). These lice also parasitize feral populations of their respective hosts.

The house mouse (Mus musculus) is often parasitized by the mouse louse (P. serrata). Populations of this louse are typically low, with 10 or fewer lice per infested mouse, unless self-grooming or mutual host grooming is compromised. Eggs of this louse typically hatch 7 days after oviposition. Together the three nymphal instars last only 6 days under optimal conditions, which can result in a generation time as short as 13 days.

Domestic rats are often parasitized by the spined mt louse (P. spinulosa) (Fig. 4.7D) and the tropical mt louse {Hoplopleura pacificĀ»), Common hosts include the black rat (Rattus mttus) and the Norway rat (R. norvegicus). The spined rat louse parasitizes these hosts throughout the world, whereas the tropical rat louse is confined to tropical, subtropical, or warm temperate regions, including the southern United States.

Laboratory rabbits are parasitized by the rabbit louse (Haemodipsus ventricosis). This louse originated in Europe but has accompanied its host and been introduced throughout the world.

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