26 Feb 2021

Critter of the Week: Apterygon okarito

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 3:35 pm on 26 February 2021

Lice are almost universally detested but some species, like the chewing feather louse Apterygon okarito, are not overly harmful to their host species.

A total homebody, this louse likely co-evolved with its host species, the endangered Rowi or Ōkārito brown kiwi, and spends life munching on bits of old feathers and debris it finds on the kiwi's back.

Apterygon mirum Clay 1961 collected North Island New Zealand

Apterygon mirum Clay 1961 collected North Island New Zealand Photo: CC BY 4.0. Te Papa (AI.013929)

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