What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

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This is the largest family of lice, and contains numerous genera and species found on all orders of birds in all parts of the world. About 100 native species in about 45 genera have been recorded from Australia, including the one endemic genus of the family ( Dahlemhornia from the emu, Dromaius novaehollandiae ). Several introduced species have been recorded from domestic poultry and introduced feral birds. Roberts (1952) lists those from domestic poultry and the pigeon, among the more important being Lipeurus caponis , Cuclotogaster heterographus , Goniodes dissimilis and Goniocotes gallinae on fowls, and Anatoecus dentatus and Anaticola crassicornis on ducks. Columbicola columbae is common on the domestic pigeon.


Head relatively large; mouth-parts mandibulate. Antennae not concealed, usually filiform, 3-5-segmented; mandibles vertical; maxillary palps absent; meso- and metathorax usually fused. Antennae 5-segmented; tarsi with paired claws; on birds.

  • Halipeurus diversus  from Puffinus tenuirostris (Puffin), female

  • Saemundssonia platygaster from Charadrius bicinctus (Double banded plover), female