(class Insecta, order Phthiraptera) Suborder of chewing lice, characterized by the pedunculate first flagellomere of the antenna, the groove of the head which conceals the antenna when at rest, the horizontal articulation of the mandibles, and the presence of maxillary palps. Three of the constituent families parasitize only mammals, three only birds, and one parasitizes members of both classes. The lice eat feathers, skin, sebaceous exudates, or blood. Species in one genus, Trochiloecetes, have the mouth-parts modified as piercing stylets (analogous to those of Anoplura) and feed on the blood of their humming-bird hosts. There are 75 genera, and about 850 species.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.