Sucking lice (Anoplura) have around 500 and represent the smaller of the two traditional suborders of lice. The Anoplura are all blood-feeding ectoparasites of mammals. They can cause localised 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 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 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 head louse. Phthirus pubis (the pubic louse) is the cause of the condition known as crabs.
The Order Anoplura is further organized into finer groupings including:
- Family (15): Echinophthiriidae · Enderleinellidae · Haematopinidae · Hamophthiriidae · Hoplopleuridae · Hybophthiridae · Linognathidae · Microthoraciidae · Neolinognathidae · Pecaroecidae · Pedicinidae · Pediculidae · Polyplacidae · Pthiridae · Ratemiidae
- Species: ZipcodeZoo has pages for 255 species and subspecies in the Order Anoplura.
These are members of a larger Suborder Anoplura which also includes the species of lice most commonly infesting humans. The Haematopinidae are identified by the presence of ocular points (although the eyes themselves are usually absent), and the tarsi being 1-clawed. [more]
More info about the Family Ratemiidae may be found here.
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