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The Amblycera are a large suborder of lice, parasitic on both birds and mammals. The Amblycera are considered the most primitive suborder of lice. They roam freely over the surface of their host and, unlike other lice, do not form permanent attachments. They feed by chewing soft areas of skin, causing an area of localised bleeding from which they drink.

The Amblycera are divided into six families:

  • Boopidae
  • Gyropidae
  • Laemobothriidae
  • Menoponidae
  • Ricinidae
  • Trimenoponidae

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