Original Research

Use of scanning electron microscopy to confirm the identity of lice infesting communally grazed goat herds

P.J. Sebei, C.M.E. McCrindle, E.D. Green, M.L. Turner
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 71, No 2 | a269 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v71i2.269 | © 2004 P.J. Sebei, C.M.E. McCrindle, E.D. Green, M.L. Turner | This work is licensed under CC Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0
Submitted: 08 November 2004 | Published: 08 November 2004

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P.J. Sebei,
C.M.E. McCrindle,
E.D. Green,
M.L. Turner,

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Abstract

Lice have been described on goats in commercial farming systems in South Africa but not from flocks on communal grazing. During a longitudinal survey on the causes of goat kid mortality, conducted in Jericho district, North West Province, lice were collected from communally grazed indigenous goats. These lice were prepared for and viewed by scanning electron microscopy, and micromorphological taxonomic details are described. Three species of lice were found in the study area and identified as Bovicola caprae, Bovicola limbatus and Linognathus africanus. Sucking and biting lice were found in ten of the 12 herds of goats examined. Lice were found on both mature goats and kids. Bovicola caprae and L. africanus were the most common biting and sucking lice respectively in all herds examined. Scanning electron microscopy revealed additional features which aided in the identification of the louse species. Photomicrographs were more accurate aids to identification than the line drawings in the literature and facilitated identification using dissecting microscope.

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