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Emilie Bess and Kevin P. Johnson taxon links [up-->]Lichenomima [up-->]Myopsocus [up-->]Mouldsia [up-->]Smithersia [up-->]Lophopterygella [up-->]Gyromyus [up-->]Polygonomyus [up-->]Lophomyus [down<--]Psocetae Interpreting the tree
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Containing group: Psocetae


The family Myopsocidae includes seven genera and nearly 200 species with worldwide distribution.  Most species are tropical.  Six species are known from North America in the genera Lichenomima and Myopsocus.

Myopsocids are fairly large bark lice (3-10 mm long, nymphs 2.5-3.5 mm) with robust bodies and distinct, heavily patterned wings.  Body colors are dark or mottled.  Myopsocids can be found living on tree bark and on shaded stone outcrops and cement structures.



General Characters

How to Know the Family

Family Monophyly

Monophyly of family Myopsocidae is supported by two morphological characters: forewings marked with distinct heavy spotting, and in the female, the gonapophyses with very long dorsal valve.

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

There has been little work on the phylogenetic relationships within Myopsocidae.

Molecular analyses have raised questions about the relationship of Myposicidae to other families in infraorder Psocetae.  Analysis of 18S nDNA placed Lichenomima as sister to Psocidae (Johnson et al. 2004).  An expanded data set that included 18S nDNA, and 12S, 16S, and COI mtDNA found Lichenomima to be sister to Aaroniella (Philotarsidae), although this is the first study to question the placement of Myposocidae in Psocetae (Johnson and Mockford 2003).


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.

Mockford, E. L. 2005. Order Psocoptera: Psocids. Pp. 341-355 in C. A. Triplehorn and n. F. Johnson (eds.) Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects. Belmont, California: Thomson Publishing.

Smithers, C. N. 1996. Psocoptera. Pp. 1-80, 363-372 (Index) in A. Wells (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. Myopsocidae. Version 25 March 2009 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Myopsocidae/14484/2009.03.25 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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