Suborder Amblycera Mallophaga

These are the chewing lice. Adults are 1-6 mm long. They are somewhat flattened, brown to pale brown, and wingless. The head is distinct from the thorax, it is as wide as or wider than the prothorax, and has a pair of mandibles ventrally. Antennae are 3-5-segmented, and are clubbed or filiform; the eyes are reduced or absent. The abdomen is eight- or nine-segmented, with weak sclerotization. Legs have one-segmented tarsi. Immatures are similar to adults, except for reduced size, sclerotization, and chaetotaxy. Amblycera are permanent ectoparasites, primarily on birds, but some species feed on mammals. All stages are associated with the host animal. Eggs are deposited on to feathers or hairs or, in some cases, within the shaft of primary feathers; females lay 50-150 eggs in their lifetime. Hatching occurs in about 7 days, and there are three immature stages in most species. Food consists ofbits offeathers or hair and debris on the skin; some species ingest blood. There are several generations per year.

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