A total of 778 individuals of 150 bird species were examined: 123 (16 %) individuals of 40 non-passerine bird species belonging to 16 orders; and 655 (84 %) individuals of 110 passerine bird species (Passeriformes) belonging to 28 families. A total of 2041 chewing lice belonging to nine genera were found on passerine birds. Amblyceran lice were less frequent than ischnoceran lice (32.8 % vs 67.2 %, n = 2041). A total of 670 amblyceran lice (mean intensity = 5.0) were found on 133 passerine birds (20.3 %) of 43 species. The dominant amblyceran genus was Menacanthus with a dominance of 59.3 %, while the other two genera were less frequent: Myrsidea (36.9 %) and Ricinus (3.9 % ). A total of 50 amblyceran louse-host associations were recorded. An equal overall sex ratio as well as age ratio was found among the collected lice. An updated checklist of the species of amblyceran lice from passerine birds from South Africa is included and discussed. Two families, five genera and 32 species of lice are listed from 42 passerine bird hosts.
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Vol. 22 • No. 4