Parasitic Lick

'J* I IK 25 KAMI IJ KS and 6,000 spccics in the order Phthiraptera are eommonly called parasitic lice. These flattened-looking insects are wingless ectoparasites, living permanently on the bodies of birds and mammals without killing them. The mouthparts are used for biting skin, feather, or fur but in the sucking lice they are used exclusively for feeding on blood. The legs are short and are often modified for clinging onto either fur or feathers. Metamorphosis is incomplete in this order.

Different lice are linked with specific hosts, such as the species with distinctive mouthparts that are found only on warthogs and African elephants. Many lice are also restricted to certain areas of the body, so more than one species can inhabit a host at the same time.

Order pn'nURAPTKRA


No. of species ^q

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