The current study describes the chewing lice community associated with seabird populations resident at the São Pedro and São Paulo Archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean in Pernambuco State, Brazil. Adults of three species of seabirds were captured using hand-nets for the collection of biometric data and specimens of ectoparasites. In total, 320 birds were examined (120 Sula leucogaster (Boddaert), Brown Booby; 120 Anous stolidus (L.), - Brown Noddy; and 80 Anous minutus Boie, Black Noddy) of which 95% were infested with 8,625 chewing lice, representing eight species of the genera Actornithophilus, Austromenopon, Eidmanniella, Pectinopygus, Quadraceps, and Saemundssonia. On S. leucogaster, Pectinopygus garbei (Pessôa & Guimarães) was more prevalent and had a mean and median intensity of infestation significantly greater than those recorded for Eidmanniella albescens (Piaget). On the two Noddies, the species of Actornithophilus and Quadraceps were significantly more prevalent and abundant than Austromenopon atrofulvum (Piaget) and Saemundssonia remota Timmermann Most of the louse species had a highly aggregated distribution, with k exponent of the negative binomial distribution ranging from 0.04 to 3.06. A weak but significant correlation was found between the abundance of chewing lice and morphometric variables (body weight, wing, beak, tail, and tarsus lengths). It is possible that high rates of infestation have a negative effect on the morphological characteristics of the hosts, including the health of the plumage. All the lice species collected— except for P. garbei (ex S. leucogaster)—were reported for the first time from Brazilian populations of these seabird species.
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Vol. 51 • No. 5