Welcome to Phthiraptera.info
Lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) are permanent, obligate ectoparasites of birds and mammals. Three of the suborders (Amblycera, Ischnocera and Rhynchophthirina) are known as chewing or biting lice, and the fourth (Anoplura) form the sucking lice. There are about 5,000 known species, present on roughly 4,000 species of bird and 800 mammal. Most are highly host specific, and consequently lice are present in every continent and virtually every habitat occupied by birds and mammals.
This website is a collection or digital resources on parasitic lice. This includes extensive literature, image and checklist databases. Major contributors include Dr. Vince Smith from the Natural History Museum, London and the late Dr. Bob Dalgleish. From 2006 these resources are managed by Vince Smith on behalf of the International Society of Phthirapterists, an informal group of specialists working on various aspects of parasitic louse biology. If you would like to contribute to this website please contact Vince Smith.