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Suneel Kumar Singh Surman Arya Sanjay Kumar Singh Vikram Khan

Abstract

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.

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Keywords

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

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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
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