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

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A family of 20 genera (Lyal 1985b) and many species parasitising a great variety of mammals in most parts of the world. Several have been introduced into Australia with their domestic hosts: Bovicola bovis (cattle), B . ovis (sheep), B . caprae (goat), Werneckiella equi (horse), Trichodectes canis (dog, including the dingo), Felicola subrostratus (cat).


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 3-segmented; tarsi single-clawed; on introduced mammals.

  • Bovicola ovis , found on Ovis aries (sheep), female