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Haematomyzus elephantis (9197687258).jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Psocoptera
Family: Haematomyzidae
Genus: Haematomyzus
Piaget, 1869

Haematomyzus elephantis
Haematomyzus hopkinsi
Haematomyzus porci

The genus Haematomyzus includes three species of lice that differ so markedly from all other lice that they have been placed in a suborder of their own. These unusual lice are ectoparasites of elephants and warthogs. Their mouthparts are elongated to form a drill-like structure that allows them to penetrate the thick skin of their host.


The three species, Haematomyzus elephantis (the elephant louse), Haematomyzus hopkinsi and Haematomyzus porci (warthog lice) belong to a single family, the Haematomyzidae.[1]

Host records[edit]

H. elephantis is known from both the African and Asian Elephant.[2][full citation needed]


The first spelling of "Rhyncophthirina" by Ferris was a lapse, and in subsequent use of the term he spelled it "Rhynchophthirina" adding the second "h". Ordinal names are not covered by the International Code of Nomenclature and thus the name and spelling comes down to a matter of personal preference. The majority of phthirapterists spell the suborder as "Rhynchophthirina" as did Hopkins and Clay, 1952,[full citation needed] and Price et al., 2003.[full citation needed]


  1. ^ Perspectives in Insect Systematics ISBN 978-8-121-00018-5 p. 155
  2. ^ Price, et al., 2003