Suneel Kumar Singh Surman Arya Sanjay Kumar Singh Vikram Khan


Columbicola columbae, the pigeon slender louse mostly feeds upon the barbules of feathers but in addition to this it also feeds upon skin scurf, epidermal scales, sheaths of growing feathers, pellicle of skin etc. C. columbae is exclusively keratin feeder and does not take host blood. Any sex or stage related difference in feeding habit has not been recorded. It neither harbours any triturating agent in the crop nor is involved in cannibalism or predation. C. columbae exhibits sub-feminal mating behaviour (i.e., the male is under the female). Complete
copulation lasts about 10 hours. The louse prefers the wing and tail feathers for oviposition. The eggs are generally laid on the ventral surface of the first row of undercoverts of wing feathers. Every event that takes place prior to eclosion of nymph, the time required for detachment of operculum and the freeing of nymph has been noted during hatching.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...




Phthiraptera, Pigeon louse, Columbicola columbae, Feeding, Reproductive behaviour

Agarwal, G.P. (1959). Studies on the bionomics and life-history of some of the mallophagan parasites of Indian birds. Ph.D. Thesis, Lucknow University, Lucknow (India).
Agarwal, G.P. (1967). Studies on the bionomics and life-history of Falcolipeurus frater (Gieble: 1874) (Mallophaga: Ischnocera). Ind. J. Zootomy, 8, 21-40.
Agarwal, G.P. and Saxena, A. K. (1978). The cropteeth and spines of the crop of Lipeurus lawrensis tropicalis, Peters (Phthiraptera: Ischnocera). Ind. J. Parasitol., 2, 27-28.
Agarwal, G.P. and Saxena, A.K. (1980). Feeding behaviour of Lipeurus lawrensis tropicalis Peters (Phthiraptera: Ischnocera) infesting poultry birds. Z. ang. Entomol., 89(5), 425-427.
Agarwal, G.P. and Saxena, A.K. (1982a). Oviposition in Lipeurus lawrensis tropicalis Peters, an ischnoceran Phthiraptera. Zool. Mag., 31, 18-22.
Agarwal, G.P. and Saxena, A.K. (1982b). Hatching organ of Lipeurus lawrensis tropicalis Peters (Phthiraptera: Ischnocera). Rivista di Parassitol., 33(1), 63-66.
Agarwal, G.P., Chandra, S. and Saxena, A.K. (1982). Feeding habits of dog ouse, Heterodoxus spiniger (End.) (Mallophaga: Amblycera). Z. Ang. Entomol., 94(2), 134-137.
Agarwal, G.P., Saxena, A.K. and Chandra, S. (1983). Haematophagous behaviour of Menacanthus eurysternus (Mallophaga, Amblycera). Angew. Parasitol., 24, 55-59.
Arora, G.L. and Chopra, N.P. (1959). Observations on the life history of Lipeurus lawrensis tropicalis Peters (Mallophaga: Ischneccera). Res. Bull. Panjab Univ. Sci. (N.S.), 10(11), 179-187.
Askew, R.R. (1971). Parasitic insects. London (Heineman Educational Books).
Ash, J.S. (1960). A study of the Mallophaga of birds with particular reference to their ecology. Ibis, 102 (1), 93-110.
Bair, T.D. (1950).Experimental determination of the autoselected temperature in the chicken louse, Cuclotogaster heterographus (Nitzsch). Ecology, 31(3), 474-477.
Blagovestchensky, D.I. (1955). K morfologii yajca puchoedov (Mallophaga). Trudy Zool. Inst. Akad. Nauk SSSR (Leningrad), 21. 262-270.
Blagovestchensky, D.I. (1959). Nasekomye puchoedy Tom I, vyp. 1- Fauna SSSR (Moskva-Leningrad). n.s. 72.
Bouvier, G. (1945). De’l haemophagie de quelques Mallophages des animaux domestques. Schqeiz. Arch. Tierheilk ., 87, 429-434.
Brown, N.S. (1970). Distribution of Menacanthus stramineus in relation to chicken’s surface temperature. J. Parasitol., 56, 1205.
Clay, T. (1949). Piercing mouth-parts in the biting lice (Mallophaga). Nature, 164, 617.
Clay, T. and Rothschild, M. (1938). Ectoparasites from captive birds. I. 1936-1937. Novit. Zool. (Tring)., 41, 61-73.
Conci, C. (1952). L allevamento in condizioni sperimentali dei Mallofagil. Cuclotogaster heterographus Nitzsch. Boll. Mus. 1st Biol. Univ. Genova, 24, 17-40.
Conci, C. (1956a). L allevamento in condizione sperimentali dei Mallofagi II, Stenocrotaphus gigas (Taschenberg). Mem. Soc. Entomol. Ital., 35, 133-150.
Conci, C. (1956b). L allevamento in condizione sperimentali dei Mallofagi III. Columbicola c. columbae (Linnaeus, 1758). Boll. Mus. 1st Biol. Univ. Genova, 26, 47-70.
Crutchfield, M. and Hixon, H. (1943). Food habits of several species of poultry lice with species reference to blood consumption. Florida Entomol., 26, 63-66.
Crystal, M.M. (1949). A descriptive of the life history stages of the dog biting louse, Trichodectes canis (DeGeer) (Mallophaga: Trichodectidae). Bull. Brooklyn Entomol. Soc. (Brooklyn), 44, 89-97.
Derylo, A. (1975). Badania nad szkodliwoscia gospodarcza wszolow (Mallophaga). V. proba ustalenia roli wszolow Eomenacanthus stramineus (Nitzsch). W przenoszeniutyfusu u kur. Wiad. Parazytol., 21, 61-68.
Dubinin, W.B. (1947). Studies on the adaptations of ectoparasites : Ecological adaptation of the mallophagan and feather ticks. Parazytol. Sborn., 9, 191-222.
Eichler, W. (1939). Topographische spezialisation bei ektoparasiten. Zeit. Fur. Parasit., 11, 205-214.
Eichler, W. (1950). Federlingseir an und in Vogelfedern. Dtzsch. Entomol., 40, 41-61.
Eichler, W. (1963). In: Dr. H. G. Bronns Klassen und ordnungen des Tierreichs (b) Phthiraptera 1. Mallophags. Akademische Verlagsgesellschagt, Geest & Portig. K.G. Leipzig. 5(3), 7b, 1-290.
Foster, M. S. (1969). The eggs of three species of Mallophaga and their significance in ecological studies. J. Parasitol., 55 (2), 453-456.
Gupta, N., Khan, V., Kumar, S., Saxena, S., Rashmi, A. and Saxena, A.K. (2008). Eggshell morphology of selected bird lice species (Phthiraptera: Amblycera, Ischnocera). Entomol. News (In Press).
Kalamarz, E. (1963). Badania nad biologia Mallophaga II. Krew jako pokarm larw piorojadow Menopon gallinae (L.) i Menacanthus stramineus (Nitzsch), oraz niektore inne obserwacje nad biologia tych gatunkow. Z. Nauk. W. S. R. Wolsz., 15, 253-260.
Kumar, A., Mitra, J.D. and Saxena, A.K. (1996). Hatching behaviour of goat biting louse, Bovicola caprae Gurlt (Phthiraptera: Ischnocera). Ad. Bios., 15(1), 25-32.
Kumar, P. and Somadder, S.K. (1974). Description and mechanism of hatching in three anopluran species. Indian J. Ent., 36(4), 355-358.
Kumar, S., Gupta, N. and Saxena, A.K. (2006). Egg laying patterns of phthirapteran ectoparasites infesting domestic hen, Gallus gallus domesticus. J. Parasit. Appl. Anim. Biol., 15 (1 & 2), 11-15.
Marshall, A.G. (1981). The ecology of ectoparasitic insects. Academic Press, London. 459.
Martin, M. (1934). Life history and habits of the pigeons louse (Columbicola columbae [Linnaeus]). Can. Entomol., 66, 6-16.
Murray MD 1957a: The distribution of the eggs of mammalian lice on their hosts. I. Description of the oviposition behaviour. Aust. J. Zool., 5, 13-18.
Murray, M.D. (1957b). The distribution of the eggs of mammalian lice on their hosts. II. Analysis of the oviposition behaviour of Damalinia ovis (L). Aust. J. Zool., 5, 19-29.
Murray, M.D. (1957c). The distribution of the eggs of mammalian lice on their hosts. III. The distribution of the eggs of Damalinia ovis (L.) on the sheep. Aust. J. Zool., 5, 173-182.
Murray, M.D. (1957d). The distribution of the eggs of mammalian lice on their hosts. IV. The distribution of the eggs of Damalinia equi (Denny) and Haematopinus asini (L.) on the horse. Aust. J. Zool., 5, 183-187.
Nelson, B.C. (1971). Successful rearing of Colpocephalum turbinatum (Phthiraptera). Nature (London), 232, 255.
Nelson, B.C. and Murray, M,D. (1971). The distribution of Mallophaga on the domestic pigeon (Columba livia). Int. Parasitol., 1, 21-29.
Oniki, Y. (1999). The mating behaviour of Oxylipeurus variegates (Mallophaga : Lipeuridae). Garcia de Orta. Ser. Zool., 23 (1), 91-92.
Pfleger, K. (1929). Biologie der mallophagen. Diss. rer. nat. Dtsch. Univ. Prag., 304.
Richter, H.C. (1870). Eggs of bird’s parasites. Hardwicks’s Science gossip (London), 6, 123-133.
Rothschild, M. and Clay, T. (1952). Fleas, Flukes and Cuckoos: A study of bird parasites (Collins) London P. 305.
Saxena, A.K., Agarwal, G.P., Chandra, S. and Singh, O.P. (1985). Haematophagous nature of Trinoton querquedule (Phthiraptera: Amblycera). Angewandte Parasitol., 26, 205-208.
Saxena, A.K., Trivedi, M.C., Rawat, B.S. and Kumar, A. (1991). Bionomics of poultry louse, Lipeurus lawrensis tropicalis Peters (Phthiraptera: Ischnocera). J. Zool. Res., 4 (1 & 2), 27-32.
Saxena, A.K., Trivedi, M.C., Kumar, A. and Rawat, B.S. (1993). Egg morphology of three amblyceran poultry lice (Insects, Phthiraptera). Rudolstandt. Nat. Hist. Schr., 5:65-68.
Saxena, A.K., Arya, S., Kumar, A., Singh, S.K. and Chauhan, S.C. (1994). SEM studies on the microtopography of eggs of poultry shaft louse, Menopon gallinae (Phthiraptera: Amblycera). Rivista di Parassitol., 11 (55): 275-281.
Saxena, A.K., Singh, S.K., Kumar, A., Surman and Badola, S. (2000). SEM studies on the microtopography of eggs of four pigeon lice (Phthiraptera: Insecta). Rivista di Parassitol., XVII (III), 351-358.
Saxena, A.K., Singh, S.K., Kumar, S. and Gupta, N. (2004). The influence of two environmental factors on the development of the eggs of two pigeon lice (Phthiraptera : Insecta). J. Parasit. Appl. Anim. Biol., 13 (1 & 2): 39-44.
Schmutz, W. (1955). Zur konstruktionsmorphologie des mannlichen Geschelechtsapparates der Mallophaga. Zool. Jb. Anat., 74, 189-338.
Scott, M.T. (1952). Observations on the bionomics of the sheep body louse (Damalinia ovis). Aust. J. Agr. Res., 3: 60-67.
Seager, S.W., Schiller, E.L., Sladen, W.J.L. and Trpis, M. (1976). A Mallophaga, Trinoton anserinum; as a cyclodevelopmental vector for a heartworm parasite of a waterfowl. Science, 194:739-741.
Sikora, H. and Eichler, W. (1941). Uber kopulationseigentumlichkeiten der Mallophagen. Z. Morph. Okol., 38:80-84.
Singh, S.K. (1999). Ecology of phthirapterans infesting pigeons in Dehradun. Ph.D. Thesis, H.N.B Garhwal Univ., Srinagar (Garhwal), India, P. 150.
Singh, S.K., Kumar, A., Surman, Badola, S. and Saxena, A.K. (2000). Site preference of four pigeon lice (Phthiraptera, insecta) on the host body. Rivista di Parassitol., XVII (LXI)-43:341-349.
Singh, S.K., Surman, Kumar. S, and Saxena, A.K. (2001). In vitro biology of a pigeon louse, Columbicola columbae (Phthiraptera : Ischnocera). Prof. V.N. Capoor Comm., 54-56.
Snodgross, R.E. (1899). The anatomy of the Mallophaga. Occas. Pap. Calif. Acad. Sci., 6:145-224.
Stenram, H. (1956). The ecology of Columbicola columbae L (Mallophaga). Opscula Ent., 21 (2-3): 170-190.
Stockdale, H.J. and Raun, E.S. (1965). Biology of the chicken body louse, Menacanthus stramineus. Ann. Ent. Soc. Amer., 58(6): 802-805.
Surman, Singh, S.K., Saxena, A.K. and Kumar, A. (1998). Aspects of oviposition in the poultry shaft louse, Menopon gallinae (Phthiraptera : Amblycera). Rivista di Parassitol., XVII (LIX)–N. 3, 341-343.
Trivedi, M.C., Sharma, S., Rawat, B.S. and Saxena, A.K. (1990). Haematophagous nature of an amblyceran phthirapteran, Menacanthus cornutus Schommer, infesting poultry bird, Gallus
domesticus L. in India. J. Appl. Entomol., 110:107-111.
Trivedi, M.C., Saxena, A.K. and Rawat, B.S. (1992). Incidence of Mallophaga on poultry in Dehradun (India). Angewandte. Parasitol., 33, 69-78.
Urban, E. and Zlotorzycka, J. (1981). Untersuchungen uber die lebensfahigkeit der Huhnermallophagen nach verlust ihres wirtes. Angew. Parasitol., 22:83-91.
Waterhouse, D.F. (1953). Studies on the digestion of wool by insects. IX. Some features of digestion in chewing lice (Mallophaga) from bird and mammalian hosts. Aust. J. Biol. Sci., 6(2), 257-275.
Waterston, J. (1926). On the crop contents of certain Mallophaga. Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 96:1017-1020.
Wigglesworth, V.B. (1932). The hatching organ or Lipeurus columbae Linn. (Mallophaga) with a notes on its phylogenetic significance. Parasitol., 24:365-367.
Williams, R.T. (1970). In vitro studies on the environmental biology of Goniodes colchici (Denny) (Mallophaga: Ischnocera) I. The effects of temperature and humidity on the bionomics of G. colchici. Aust. J. Zool., 18:379-389.
Wilson, F.H. (1933). A louse feeding on the blood of its hosts. Science, 77: 490.
Wilson, F.H. (1939). The life-cycle and bionomics of Lipeurus caponis (Linn). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Amer., 32:318-320.
Wobesser, G., Johnson, G.R. and Aconpanado, G. (1974). Stomotitis in a juvenile white pelican due to Piagetiella peralis (Mallophaga: Menoponidae). J. Wildlife Dis., 10:135-138.
Zlotorzycka, J. and Danecki, J. (1969). O skutkach masowego pojawu wszolow (Mallophaga) z podgatunku Laemobothrion vultures danecki Zlotorzycka na orlosepie brodatym, Gypaetus barbatus (L.). Przegl. Zool., 13(4): 331-333.
Citation Format
How to Cite
Singh, S. K., Arya, S., Singh, S. K., & Khan, V. (2010). Feeding and reproductive behaviour of pigeon slender louse, Columbicola columbae (Phthiraptera, Insecta, Ischnocera). Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 2(1), 126–133. https://doi.org/10.31018/jans.v2i1.111
More Citation Formats:
Research Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)