Wildlife Journal Junior!
New Hampshire PBS

Home       |       Wild Files       |       N.H. Animals       |       Animals A-Z       |       Watch Online

Phthiraptera - Lice



 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Arthropoda
 Subphylum: Hexapoda
 Class: Insecta
 Order: Phthiraptera

Chicken Body louseThere are over 5,000 species in this order and over 1,000 species in North America.

The species in this order are small, wingless insects. All of the species in this order are parasites and live on an animal or human host.

Lice either have biting or sucking mouthparts, and they eat dead skin cells, fur, feathers, or blood. An individual louse usually spends its entire life on a single host.

Many species of lice can transmit diseases to their human or animal hosts.