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WikiProject Insects (Rated GA-class, Top-importance)
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According to Wikipedia policy, shouldn't this be at Louse? RickK 01:58 24 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I went ahead and moved it, seeing as how the page for mice is "Mouse" instead of "Mice". --ɛvɪs 21:49, Feb 11, 2005 (UTC)

Someone want to consider putting the information for the life cycle of the louse on here? Here's a good link for information on the subject:

--BleachInjected 01:34, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Isn't there another kind of louse that commonly resides on bed mattresses and pillows, or on a wooden table inside small crevices...etc. It is quite common in the region where I live - Kerala, India. Someday I'd like to see how to get rid of such kinds of louse.User:Deostroll--Arun T 18:19, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Actually, those are the same as body lice. --Mr. Jenkins 00:52, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Mr. Jenkins, I believe you are painting with a very broad brush. Deosteroll gives us limited information to identify the organisism found in furniture crevices in India. Everywhere I have spent in North America, Ontario, Michigan and California, I have seen black beetles of 4-5cm length which appear to have a proboscis, but I have never observed them sucking anything. I frequently encounter the book louse, (which curiously has no Wiki page, YET). They are pin-head sized and completely colorless so one would question the belief that they ever sucked blood from a higher order. I have seen the bedbug, (Cimex lectularius), head louse, (Pediculus capitus), body louse, (Pediculus corpora), and pubic louse, (Phtyrus pubis. You are correct in the belief that the body louse and book louse is found on furniture, but I believe that Deosteroll is describing some other species.--W8IMP 13:56, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Hey I noticed this sentence: "] Ischnoceran lice may reduce the thermoregulation effect of the plumage, thus heavily infected birds loss more heat than other ones." can someone with permisson to edit, clean up the awkward wording there? thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:44, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

The link from "wingless insects" to "Apterygota" should be removed since lice don't belong to Apterygota. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:23, 13 July 2015 (UTC)


I removed the following section for plagiarism. It was cut and pasted from a newspaper article:

David Reed, of the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida, said it was unlikely that the louse spread from gorillas to human ancestors through cross-species sexual transmission.

He and his colleagues, reporting their findings in the journal BMC Biology, said: “Evidence suggests that the Phirus pubis has been associated with humans for several million years and likely arrived on humans via a host switch from gorillas.

“Despite the fact that human pubic lice are primarily transmitted via sexual contact, such contact is not required to explain the host switch.

“Parasites often switch from a given species to a predator of that species, and are sometimes found to switch to unrelated hosts in communally used areas, such as roosting or nesting sites.”

Dr Reed added: “It certainly wouldn’t have to be what many people are going to immediately assume it might have been, and that is sexual intercourse occurring between humans and gorillas."

You can't copy things word for word without permission, and even if you could newspaper article style is not encyclopedic, you'd have to change it to an encyclopedic style anyway. Brentt 18:34, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Bible Reference[edit]

in the description there is the phrase "They were also the third Biblical plague out of ten." that seems out of place, shouldn't it be something like they were common / reported for thousands of year/ considered so bad they were part of a bad series of events called "plagues" in the bible , my wording is no good but hopefully you get my drift —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:30, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

See also[edit]

Is the mother-in-law crack really necessary? Monkey Bounce (talk) 22:44, 20 February 2008 (UTC) they mite piss you off but they can be removed some things you can use to get ride of them it nix its the best stuf out there

well i use mayonaise and tea tree oil to name a few and lice were one plague that god sent they mate and reproduce quickly from what ive saw and they go for clean untreated

hair but if you use alot of products that make you hair greasy and dirty your not likely to get lice but sometimes you still do so be aware take notes of whos scratching you would probably want to keep a distance take notice and youll life wount be so hard because lic are hard to get rid of —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:25, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Corrections: Lice infect some of the species which article explicitly denies[edit]

Pzoot (talk) 16:45, 25 November 2008 (UTC) I think the claim that bats do not have lice is likely to be incorrect, and would need a citation anyway. For example [[1]] from the Illinois department of public health says lice can infest bats.

Also, Wikipedia itself seems to suggest that lice infest whales, despite this article explicitly excluding them. Shanoman (talk) 00:15, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
"Whale lice" are not lice (and neither are "wood lice"). (talk) 20:18, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

I've heard that chinchilla are the only mammal that doesn't have ectoparasites, because their fur is so thick. Don't have any reliable sources though. It would be interesting to know how true this is. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mushmushmushmush (talkcontribs) 20:30, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

1. No chewing lice are known to infect bats. 2. No chewing lice are known to infect wales. 3. Chinchillas are infected by two species of chewing lice: Philandesia chincillae (Werneck, 1935) and Philandesia mazzai (Werneck, 1933). Source: Price, Hellenthal, palma, Johnson, Clayton (2003): The Chewing lice - World checklist and biological overview. Illinois Natural History Survey Special Publication 24. This book does not contain sucking lice, though. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Grijndvar (talkcontribs) 15:06, 11 January 2011 (UTC)


At Chat you can read

Chat may refer to:
  • Chats, the way British soldiers referred to delousing in WW1

Is that true? --Abe Lincoln (talk) 18:17, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

what does "sexual rivalry" mean in this article?[edit]

what do you guys mean by the statement: Lice infestation is a disadvantage in the context of sexual rivalry? just doesnt sound right. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Thebestofall007 (talkcontribs) 16:34, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from Msmusiclaw, 22 September 2011[edit]

There are several typos, not major but should be corrected.Msmusiclaw (talk) 19:33, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Msmusiclaw (talk) 19:33, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

DoneBility (talk) 20:34, 22 September 2011 (UTC) Lice is actually very, very small, and some times,you can not see it, but if you put a comb through your hair, it will pop up. I think the best brand to get rid of lice is the brand called Nix. By Musiclover

The first sentence uses a semicolon when a comma should be used instead. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:34, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Divergence date for pubic lice from gorillas to humans[edit]

I don't understand why the divergence date in the article says 2,000,000 years ago when the Reed et al. paper [2] clearly estimates 3-4 million years ago:

The two species of Pthirus (Pthirus gorillae and Pthirus pubis) last shared a common ancestor ca. 3–4 million years ago, which is considerably younger than the divergence between their hosts (gorillas and humans, respectively), of approximately 7 million years ago.
The divergence date estimates for the gorilla and human pubic lice (Pthirus gorillae and Pthirus pubis, respectively) averaged 3.32 MYA and are noticeably more recent than the split between the two Pediculus species.
It is important to note that this happened after the divergence of chimpanzees and humans and that these data suggest humans acquired their pubic louse from gorillas not recently, but rather 3–4 million years ago.

I'll change the article to say 3-4 MYA. --Saforrest (talk) 17:44, 25 September 2012 (UTC) I will change humans to human ancestors or hominids. Humans exist since only 300.000 years. Older species are not humans (homo sapiens), but hominids. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:29, 14 July 2013 (UTC)


Shouldn't there be something in the Body Louse section explaining how the mythical phantom childhood disease of "cooties" gets its name from a name used for the body louse? four tildes — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:52, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Lice in humans & Human lice and DNA discoveries[edit]

These two sections seem to be lacking a lot of vital information and could use some restructuring. The three different species of lice that have coevolved with their human hosts have been used to uncover a lot of information about human evolution in recent years.

I propose the following changes:

Change the Subsection title from "Human lice and DNA discoveries" to something like: "Coevolution with Humans" or "Evolution of Lice and Humans." This will open up the section for contributions about the coevolution of human lice and humans as oppose to limiting the discussion to "DNA discoveries" alone. More details can be filled in at a later time regarding specific content.

Include phylogenetic tree of species of human lice (with closest lice relatives).

Include description of their origins with dates. The Reed et al. article cited in this section posits three potential phylogenetic trees (A, B, and C) and concludes that C is the most likely tree given molecular dating of species divergence. Of the three species of human lice, two are related to chimpanzees (genera Pediculus) and one is related to gorillas (genera Pthirus). Pediculus and Pthirus genera likely split around 7 million years ago. The Pediculus humanus capitis (human head lice) and Pediculus humanus corporis (human body lice) likely diverged from a chimps 6 million years ago. Interestingly, pubic lice (Pthirus Pubis) only dates back 3-4 million years. Reed et al. interpret this to mean that a host species switch occurred when the louse species "jumped" to hominid hosts.[1]

Correct the following sentence which is incorrect as it stands:

Additionally, the DNA differences between head lice and body lice provide corroborating evidence that humans started losing body hair about 2 million years ago.[18)

The Travis news article listed as the source as well as the original publication (Kittler et al.) clearly state that divergence between head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) and body lice (Pediculus humanus corporis) occured 72,000 years ago +/- 42,000 years. The authors argue this is a potential explanation for the origin of clothing not the loss of body hair 2 million years ago.[2]

The sentence can be edited to read as follows: Mitochondrial analysis of Head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) and body lice (Pediculus humanus corporis) diverged approximately 72,000 years ago +/- 42,000 years. This divergence date may coincide with the origins of clothing use in humans as clothing would have created two distinct ecological zones for speciation to occur on the human body.Kittler, Ralf; Kayser, Manfred; Stoneking, Mark (19 Aug 2003). "Molecular Evolution of Pediculus humanus and the Origin of Clothing". Current Biology 13: 1414-1417.</ref>

--Block.101 (talk) 22:41, 30 September 2014 (UTC) Block.101 9/30/14

Different Picture?[edit]

If you're at a different page with a link to Louse and you put your cursor over the term, you get a photo of a lice comb. I have no idea how to do this but could someone who does know how, please redirect to the drawing of "Phthiraptera" at the top of the page? Thank you. Rissa, copy editor (talk) 04:36, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Louse/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Dunkleosteus77 (talk · contribs) 20:46, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Comment by Dunkleosteus77[edit]

  • Is this written in British English? If so, place the template {{British English}} to the article's talk page  Done
Yes, it seems that was how it was started. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:02, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Put the Classification section at the top, before the Description section  Done
  • Try merging the Examples section with the Classification section  Done
  • Put the two sections on humans under one section (called Interaction with humans, Humans and lice...) and change the title of Lice and humans to Prehistory, and change Lice in humans society to Modern history  Done
  • Merge the In history section with the Interaction with humans section (since they both regard humans)
Done. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 11:50, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

General comments[edit]

  • In the lead, change "nearly 5,000 species of insect" to "...insects"
If this is British then "...insect" is correct.
  • In the lead, change "...which include every order of birds, and all the orders of mammals except for..." to "which includes every species of bird and mammal, except for...  Done
  • In the lead, change "Lice are the vectors of diseases..." to "Lice are vectors of diseases..."  Done
  • In the lead, change "pierce their host's skin" to "pierce the host's skin" (this is optional)  Done
  • In the lead, change "has the smallest genome known for an insect" to "...smallest genome of any known insect"  Done
  • In the lead, change "cementing their eggs to hairs or feathers where they are known as 'nits'" to "cementing their eggs, which are known as nits, to hairs or feathers"  Done
  • In the lead, change "They appear in folktales, songs such as The Kilkenny Louse House, and novels such as Finnegans Wake" to ", such as... and novels, such as..." (optional)
Not sure that's an improvement.
  • In the Description section, change "are retractable into their heads" to "are retractable into their head"; also, do they have multiple mouth parts?  Done
All insects have multiple mouth parts. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:07, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
  • In the Description section, wikilink "Ischnocera" and "Amblycera"  Done
  • In the Biology section, change "Lice are divided into two groups, sucking lice..." to "Lice are divided into two groups: sucking lice..."  Done
  • In the Biology section, change "...and chewing lice, scavengers..." to "...and chewing lice, which are scavengers...  Done
  • In the Biology section, change "...within a month of hatching" to "...within a month after hatching"  Done
  • In the Ecology section, change "...that dive under the water surface..." to "...that dive under the water..."  Done
  • In the Taxonomy section, do not wikilink "sucking"  Done
  • In the Taxonomy section, wikilink "Austrogonoides" and "Nesiotinus"  Done
  • In the Lice and humans section, wikilink "chimpanzee-hominid divergence" (optional); the article I'm referring to is called "Chimpanzee–human last common ancestor"  Done
  • In the In literature and folklore section, why is " 'very popular' " in quotes?
Removed. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 11:50, 25 November 2015 (UTC)


  • Add access dates to all refs
I don't think these are needed when the source is a book or journal article. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 11:50, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
  • ref no. 9 specifies page number as "pp. 83–". Please finish
Done. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 11:50, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
  • ref no. 21 specifies journal title as being "Parasitol"; change to "Parasitology"
Done. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 11:50, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
  • ref no. 29, italicize "Pediculus humanus" in the title
Done. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 11:50, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
  • ref no. 29, 30, and 31 currently do not use the template {{cite journal}} (and they should).
Done. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 11:50, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
  • ref no. 41 specifies page number as "180.18-28"; I'm confused what this is supposed to mean
Done. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 11:50, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

It passes

  • Thank you Dunkleosteus77. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 18:00, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Ectoparasite and endoparasite[edit]

If "mouth parts, which are retractable into their head, are adapted for piercing", why is it not considered as an endoparasite? Some lice (species?) can penetrate the skin and hide within the Human body. Some reference to entomological research should be added, or are lice not being scientifically researched like flies are (forensic entomology)? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:12, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Reed, David L.; Light, Jessica E.; Allen, Julie M.; Kirchman, Jeremy J. (2007). "Pair of lice lost or parasites regained: the evolutionary history of anthropoid primate lice". BMC Biology. 5 (7): 7–18. 
  2. ^ Kittler, Ralf; Kayser, Manfred; Stoneking, Mark (19 Aug 2003). "Molecular Evolution of Pediculus humanus and the Origin of Clothing". Current Biology. 13: 1414-1417.