EpipsocetaeEmilie Bess and Kevin P. Johnson
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Infraorder Epipsocetae includes the families Cladiopsocidae, Dolabellopsocidae, Epipsocidae, and Ptiloneuridae which comprise 24 genera and about 250 species. These species are distributed worldwide and more than half (~140 species) are described from South America. The species Parepipsocus obscurus is included in Infraorder Epipsocetae, but to which family it belongs is uncertain.
- Head is long because of long cheeks (gena).
- Anterior tentorial pit is separated from ventral margin of cranium.
- Labrum has a pair of longitudinal sclerotized lines.
- Forewing veins have more than one row of hairs (reversed in family Epipsocidae).
- Forewing has A2 vein (reversed in Epipsocidae and Ptiloneuridae).
- Hindwing veins have two rows of hairs.
- Female: Dorsal and external valves of gonapophyses are partly fused.
- Vertex is rounded.
- Cheeks (gena) are elongate.
- Postclypeus is less bulged than in other Psocomorpha.
- Epistomal suture is often reduced, always without well-developed internal ridge.
- Anteclypeus is broadly sclerotized.
- Anterior tentorial pit is separate from ventral margin of cranium.
- Eyes are much larger on males than on females.
- Ocelli are complete or absent and clustered on a small tubercle.
- Labrum have a pair of longitudinal sclerotized lines
- Mandibles are elongate with outer margins strongly angled and posterolateral margins deeply hollowed.
- Maxilla have ball-shaped galea.
- Labial palpi are somewhat triangular.
- Prothorax is less bulged dorsally than in other Psocomorpha.
- Pterothorax is well bulged dorsally.
- Mesoscutellum is pentagonal medially.
- Mesothorax has a narrow precoxal bridge and trochantin.
- Metaepisternum has a broad membranous region.
- Forewings are hairly, veins often have more than 1 row of hairs.
- Posteroproximal corner of wing margin is smoothly rounded.
- Forewing veins Rs and M are usually fused by crossvein.
- Forewing vein A2 usually present but absent in Epipsocidae and Ptiloneuridae.
- Hidwings have a smoothly rounded posteroproximal corner.
- Veins are hairy, often with more than 1 row of hairs in distal half.
- Margins are hairy except anterior margin proximal to marginal end of vein R1.
- Veins Rs and M + Cu are fused for long distance basally.
- Veins Rs and M are fused.
- Tarsi 2- or 3-segmented.
- Tarsal claws have a preapical tooth; pulvillus is narrow.
- Abdomen without eversible vesicles ventrally.
- Male genitalia:
- Phallosome varies, base is usually open apically.
- Female genitalia:
- Subgenital plate is usually simple.
- Ventral valve is present or absent.
- Dorsal valve is narrowed to pointed apex.
- External valve is narrowed.
- Dorsal and external valve are fused with each other.
Monophyly of Infraorder Epipsocetae is well supported by morphological data based on the synapomorphic characters listed under Characteristics (Yoshizawa 2002).
Molecular data support the monophyly of family Epipsocidae, but other families have not yet been included in molecular analysis (Johnson et al. 2004).
Casasola Gonzalez, J.A. 2006. Phylogenetic relationships of the genera of Epipsocetae (Psocoptera: Psocomorpha). Zootaxa 1194: 1-32.
Casasola Gonzalez, J. A. C. & A. N. Garcia Aldrete. 2002. A taxonomic revision of genus Goja (Psocoptera: Epipsocidae). Mexico City: UNAM Press.
Eertmoed, G.E. 1973. The phenetic relationships of the Epipsocetae (Psocoptera): the higher taxa and the species of two new families. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 99: 373–414.
Garcia Aldrete, A.N. 2003. New species of Loneura (Ptiloneuridae: Psocoptera), from Argentina, Nicaragua and Mexico. Anales del Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Serie Zoología 74(1): 11-19.
Garcia Aldrete, A.N. 2004. New species of Loneura (Psocoptera: Ptiloneuridae), from Venezuela and Nicaragua. Anales del Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Serie Zoología 75(1): 143-148.
Johnson, K. P. & E. L. Mockford. 2003. Molecular Systematics of Psocomorpha (Psocoptera). Systematic Entomology 28: 409-40.
Johnson, K. P., K. Yoshizawa, and V. S. Smith. 2004. Multiple origins of parasitism in lice. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 271:1771-1776.
Lienhard, C. and C. N Smithers. 2002. Psocoptera (Insecta) World Catalogue and Bibliography. Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle, Geneva, Switzerland.
Mockford, E. L. 1998. Generic definitions and species assignments in he Family Epipsocidae (Psocoptera). Insecta Mundi 12: 81-91.
Mockford, E. L. 1993. North American Psocoptera (Insecta). Sandhill Crane Press, Gainesville, Florida.
Smithers, C.N. 1972. The classification and phylogeny of the Psocoptera. Memoirs of the Australian Museum 14: 1–349.
Smithers, C. N. 1996. Psocoptera. Pp. 1-80, 363-372 (Index) in Wells A. (ed.) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol. 26. Psocoptera, Phthiraptera, Thysanoptera. Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing, Australia.
Yoshizawa, K. 2002. Phylogeny and higher classification of suborder Psocomorpha (Insecta: Psocodea:'Psocoptera'). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 136: 371-400.
Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois, USA
Kevin P. Johnson
Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois, USA
Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Emilie Bess at and Kevin P. Johnson at
All Rights Reserved.
- First online 25 March 2009
- Content changed 25 March 2009
Citing this page:
Bess, Emilie and Kevin P. Johnson. 2009. Epipsocetae. Version 25 March 2009 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Epipsocetae/30255/2009.03.25 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/