Laemobothrion tinnunculi, copyright Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Belongs within: Nanopsocetae.
Contains: Philopteridae, Trichodectidae, Anoplura, Menoponidae, Ricinidae.

The Phthiraptera, true lice, are a group of small, wingless insects that live as external parasites on warm-blooded vertebrates. Historically, they have been divided between the chewing or biting Mallophaga and the sucking Anoplura but the former are undoubtedly paraphyletic to the latter. Instead, the Amblycera, which retain maxillary palps, are probably the sister group of the remaining Phthiraptera. The Anoplura form a clade with the long-rostrate Haematomyzus that is probably embedded within the ‘Ischnocera’ (Grimaldi & Engel 2005).

Synapomorphies (from Grimaldi & Engel 2005): Apterous; head with very limited movement; eyes highly reduced (only several facets), usually completely lost; ocelli absent; dorsal tentorial arms lost; lacinial stylets reduced or lost; maxillae reduced or lost; antennae reduced to three flagellomeres. Metathoracic spiracle absent; third thoracic ganglion fused with abdominal ganglion. Egg with hydropile and operculum, cemented to host hair or feather. Three nymphal instars.

<==Phthiraptera [Mallophaga, Nyrmida, Parasita, Pediculida, Philopterina, Siphunculata]
    |--Euphthiraptera [Ischnocera, Philopteroidea]A99
    |    |  i. s.: Syrrhaptoecus Waterson 1928T62
    |    |         Fulicoffula luridaA71
    |    |         RallicolaA71
    |    |         Sturnidoecus sturniA71
    |    |         DasyonygidaeRD77
    |    |--+--TrichophilopterusRD77 [TrichophilopteridaeGE05]
    |    |  |--PhilopteridaeGE05
    |    |  `--+--GoniodesCM91 [GoniodidaeGE05]
    |    |     |    `--G. dissimilisCM91
    |    |     `--Rhopaloceras [Heptapsogasteridae]GE05
    |    |          `--R. rudimentariusGE05
    |    `--+--TrichodectidaeGE05
    |       |--Saurodectes [Saurodectidae]R02
    |       |    `--S. vrsanskyiGE05
    |       `--LipognathaA99
    |            |--AnopluraR02
    |            `--HaematomyzusCM91 [Haematomyzidae, Haematomyzoidea, Rhynchophthiraptera, RhynchophthirinaR02]
    |                 |--H. elephantisGE05
    |                 |--H. hopkinsiGE05
    |                 `--H. porciGE05
    `--Amblycera [Ricinoidea]GE05
         |  i. s.: Neomenopon Bedford 1920T62
         |         Bonomiella Conci 1937T62
         |         Piagetiella australisCM91
         |    |--Trimenopon hispidum (Burmeister 1838)T62
         |    `--Harrisonia uncinataGE05
         |    |--Gliricola porcelliCM91
         |    `--GyropusCM91
         |         |--G. gracilisG20 [incl. Pediculus porcelli Linnaeus 1758G20, L58]
         |         `--G. ovalisCM91
         |--Laemobothrion [Laemobothriidae]CM91
         |    |--L. africanum Kellogg 1908K08
         |    |--L. atrumCM91
         |    |--L. circiA71
         |    |--L. gypsisK08
         |    |--L. setigerumK08
         |    |--L. tinnunculiCM91
         |    `--L. titanK08
              |--Paraheterodoxus insignisCM91
              |--Boopia [incl. Phacogalia]C74
                   |--H. ampullatusCM91
                   |--H. longitarsusC70
                   |--H. octoseriatusCM91
                   `--H. spinigerCM91
Phthiraptera incertae sedis:
  Esthiopterum Harrison 1916T62
    |--*E. gruisT62
    `--E. raphidiumA71
  Pseudolipeurus plumbeus (Pessoa & Guimarães 1935) [incl. P. uoe Eichler 1950]T62
  Trogoninirmus Eichler 1944T62
  Trogoniella Tendeiro 1960T62
  Splendoroffula Clay & Meinertzhagen 1941T62
    |--A. americanusA71
    |--A. bucomfistiiA71
    `--A. colymbinusA71
  Ibidoecus bisignatusA71
  Campanulotes defectusGE05
  Neotrichodectes mephitidisHN90
    |--B. saltatora Carriker 1956S69
    `--B. violacea Carriker 1963S69
  Heptapsus nothocercae Carriker 1936S69
    |--O. craxae Carriker 1944S69
    `--O. pauxus Carriker 1944S69
  Amyrisidea simplexS69
    |--A. s. simplexS69
    `--A. s. pauxis Carriker 1950S69
  Conciella clamatori Carriker 1966S69
  Trochiliphagus mellivorus Carriker 1960S69
    |--S. acutifrons Emerson 1961E61
    |--S. cursor (Burmeister 1838)E61
    `--S. oculatus (Rudow 1870) [incl. S. bubonis (Osborn 1896)]E61
    |--K. edwardsi Emerson 1961E61
    |--K. keleri Emerson 1961E61
    |--K. magna Emerson 1960E61
    `--K. pectinata (Osborn 1902)E61
    |--Liotheum cornicis [=Ricinus cornicis]G20
         |--T. femoratum Piaget 1880PJ02
         `--T. luridumK08
  ‘Neumannia’ Uchida 1926 nec Trouessart 1888 nec Weise 1907EH19

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A71] Askew, R. R. 1971. Parasitic Insects. Heinemann Educational Books: London.

[A99] Ax, P. 1999. Das System der Metazoa II. Ein Lehrbuch der phylogenetischen Systematik. Gustav Fisher Verlag: Stuttgart (translated: 2000. Multicellular Animals: The phylogenetic system of the Metazoa vol. 2. Springer).

[C70] Calaby, J. H. 1970. Phthiraptera (lice). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers pp. 376–386. Melbourne University Press.

[C74] Calaby, J. H. 1974. Phthiraptera (lice). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers. Supplement 1974 pp. 51–52. Melbourne University Press.

[CM91] Calaby, J. H., & M. D. Murray. 1991. Phthiraptera (lice). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 1 pp. 421–428. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[E61] Emerson, K. C. 1961. Three new species of Mallophaga from the great horned owl. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 74: 187–192.

[EH19] Énay, R., & M. K. Howarth. 2019. Part L, revised, volume 3B, chapter 7: Systematic descriptions of the Perisphinctoidea. Treatise Online 120: 1–184.

[G20] Goldfuss, G. A. 1820. Handbuch der Naturgeschichte vol. 3. Handbuch der Zoologie pt 1. Johann Leonhard Schrag: Nürnberg.

[GE05] Grimaldi, D., & M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press: New York.

[HN90] Hafner, M. S., & S. A. Nadler. 1990. Cospeciation in host-parasite assemblages: comparative analysis of rates of evolution and timing of cospeciation events. Systematic Zoology 39 (3): 192–204.

[K08] Kellogg, V. L. 1908. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der Schwedischen Zoologischen Expedition nach dem Kilimandjaro, dem Meru und den Umgebenden Massaisteppen Deutsch-Ostafrikas 1905–1906 vol. 3 section 15. Corrodentia pt 4. Mallophaga. Almqvist & Wiksells Boktryckeri-A. B.: Uppsala.

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis revised 10th ed. vol. 1. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

[PJ02] Palma, R. L., A. R. Johnson, F. Cezilly, F. Thomas & F. Renard. 2002. Diversity and distribution of feather lice on greater flamingoes (Phoenicopterus ruber roseus) in the Camargue, sothern France. New Zealand Entomologist 25: 87–89.

[R02] Rasnitsyn, A. P. 2002. Superorder Psocidea Leach, 1815. In: Rasnitsyn, A. P., & D. L. J. Quicke (eds) History of Insects pp. 125–133. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht.

[RD77] Richards, O. W., & R. G. Davies. 1977. Imms’ General Textbook of Entomology 10th ed. vol. 2. Classification and Biology. Chapman and Hall: London.

[S69] Steyskal, G. C. 1969. The mistreatment of the Latin genitive case in forming names of parasites. Systematic Zoology 18 (3): 339–342.

[T62] Tendeiro, J. 1962. Estudos sobre malófagos: Revisão monográfica do género Columbicola Ewing (Ischnocera, Philopteridae). Memórias da Junta de Investigações do Ultramar, ser. 2, 32: 7–460.

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