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Emilie Bess and Kevin P. Johnson taxon links [up-->]Anopistoscena [up-->]Cyclohemipsocus [up-->]Hemipsocus [up-->]Metahemipsocus [down<--]Psocetae Interpreting the tree
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Containing group: Psocetae


Hemipsocidae includes nearly 50 species in 4 genera worldwide.  The family is found primarily in the tropics.  Most diversity in Hemipsocidae has been found in China, where the family is most actively studied.  Two species are known from North America: Hemipsocus choroticus from Florida and coastal regions Texas and North Carolina, and H. pretiosus from Florida.

Hemipsocids live in dead foliage and when disturbed, they tend to run rapidly or tumble in a characteristic manner.



General Characters

How to Know the Family

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

The monophyly of genus Hemipsocus is supported by molecular data (4 species; Johnson et al. 2004), which places the genus in infraorder Psocetae.  Morphological data, however, place Hemipsocidae alone in infraorder Hemipsocetae based on these morphological synapomophies: CuA1-M crossvein in forewing, M vein two-branched in forewing, absence of epistomal suture on head, and first axillary sclerite at wing base apically broadened (Yoshizawa 2002).  Further study is needed to clarify the relationships of Hemipsocidae with other families.


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. 1993. North American Psocoptera (Insecta). Gainesville, Florida: Sandhill Crane Press.

New, T.R. 2005. Psocids, Psocoptera (Booklice and barklice), 2nd edition: Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects. Vol. 1, Part 7. Royal Entomological Society, London, UK.

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.

About This Page

Emilie Bess
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.

Citing this page:

Bess, Emilie and Kevin P. Johnson. 2009. Hemipsocidae. Version 25 March 2009 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Hemipsocidae/14481/2009.03.25 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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