In Brazil ostriches farming began at the end of 20th Century, to supply the international market of meat, feathers and leather. Feathers are economically important to industry and artisanal sectors. Lice can cause intense pruritus that depending on the intensity of infestation can lead to depreciation of feathers. In Rio de Janeiro there are unknown species of lice infesting ostriches. Thus the objective of this study was to identify the lice that happen in birds from commercial farms in the Municipality of Três Rios. From 2003 to 2006 ostriches were monthly examined for the presence of ectoparasites. When infestations were detected some feathers were removed, placed into plastic bags and sent to the laboratory for further analysis. After removed from feathers, ectoparasites were examined using a stereoscope, followed by clarification in 10% potassium hydroxide and dehydrated in ethanol. Permanent slides were mounted in natural Canada balsam for observation in optical microscope. Based on observed characteristics, it was possible to determine that collected specimens belong to the species Struthiolipeurus rheae.
Ostriches; Philopteridae; Struthiolipeurus rheae; Brazil