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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Cladus: Panarthropoda
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Classis: Insecta
Cladus: Dicondylia
Subclassis: Pterygota
Cladus: Metapterygota
Infraclassis: Neoptera
Cladus: Eumetabola
Cladus: Paraneoptera
Superordo: Psocodea
Ordo: Phthiraptera
Subordo: Anoplura
Familiae: Echinophthiriidae - Enderleinellidae - Haematopinidae - Hamophthiriidae - Hoplopleuridae - Hybothiridae - Linognathidae - Microthoraciidae - Neolinognathidae - Pecaroecidae - Pedicinidae - Pediculidae - Pthiridae - Polyplacidae - Ratemiidae

Sánchez-Montes, S. et al. 2013: A checklist of sucking lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera: Anoplura) associated with Mexican wild mammals, including geographical records and a host-parasite list. Zootaxa 3722(2): 183–203. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3722.2.4 Reference page.

Vernacular names
беларуская: Вошы
čeština: Vši
Deutsch: Tierläuse
English: Sucking Louse
Esperanto: Anopluroj
eesti: Täilised
Līvõ kēļ: Teid
lietuvių: Utėlės
polski: Wszy
português: Anopluro
русский: Вши
svenska: Löss
vepsän kel’: Täid

Sucking lice (Anoplura, formerly known as Siphunculata) have around 500 species and represent the smaller of the two traditional superfamilies of lice. As opposed to the paraphyletic chewing lice, which are now divided among three suborders, the sucking lice are monophyletic.

The Anoplura are all blood-feeding ectoparasites of mammals. They only occur on about 20% of all placentalian mammal species, and are unknown from several orders of mammals (Monotremata, Edentata, Pholidota, Chiroptera, Cetacea, Sirenia, and Proboscidea).[1] They can cause localized skin irritations and are vectors of several blood-borne diseases. Children appear particularly susceptible to attracting lice, possibly due to their fine hair.

At least three species or subspecies of Anoplura are parasites of humans; the human condition of being infested with sucking lice is called pediculosis. Pediculus humanus is divided into two subspecies, Pediculus humanus humanus, or the human body louse, sometimes nicknamed "the seam squirrel" for its habit of laying of eggs in the seams of clothing, and Pediculus humanus capitis, or the human head louse. Pthirus pubis (the human pubic louse) is the cause of the condition known as crabs.


These 15 families are generally recognized in the Anoplura:

Echinophthiriidae – seal lice
Haematopinidae – ungulate lice
Hoplopleuridae – armoured lice
Linognathidae – pale lice
Pedicinidae – Old World monkey lice
Pediculidae – body lice
Pthiridae – pubic lice
Polyplacidae – spiny rat lice

See also

Use of DNA in forensic entomology


Piotrowski, F. (1992): Anoplura (echte Läuse). de Gruiter; 61 pp. (page 8)

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