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Mallophaga

Mallophaga (chewing lice, biting lice; subclass Pterygota, order Phthiraptera) Group of lice, comprising the suborders Ischnocera, Amblycera, and Rhyncophthirina, all of which possess functional mandibles. The common name chewing lice’ applied to this group is preferred to ‘biting lice’ because members of the fourth suborder of lice, the Anoplura, also bite. The use of the Mallophaga as a taxonomic group is to be discouraged because the Rhyncophthirina are more closely related to the Anoplura than they are to the Ischnocera and the Amblycera, and the Ischnocera are more closely related to the Rhyncophthirina and Anoplura than they are to the Amblycera.

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Ischnocera

Ischnocera (subclass Pterygota, order Phthiraptera) Suborder of chewing lice characterized by the pulvinus and the vertical articulation of the mandibles. The suborder contains two families that are parasitic on placental mammals, and three that are parasitic on birds. Their food includes feathers, skin, sebaceous exudates, and blood; and some species are known to eat other lice, although these are probably not an important part of their diet. There are 120 genera, with about 1800 species.

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Mallophaga

Mallophaga An order of secondarily wingless insects comprising the bird lice. Bird lice are minute with dorsoventrally flattened ovoid bodies, reduced eyes, and biting mouthparts. They are ectoparasites of birds, feeding on particles of dead skin, feather fragments, and sometimes blood. The eggs hatch to form nymphs resembling the adults.

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