Typified names:



1) Siphunculata Latreille 1802

2) Siphunculata Latreille 1825

3) Opinion

 1) Siphunculata Latreille 1802

NOMEN: Siphunculata Latreille 1802: 427 [P.A. Latreille. Histoire naturelle, générale et particuliere des Crustacés et des Insectes. T.3, 1802]

ORIGINAL LISTED MEMBERSHIP (Latreille 1802): Pangonius + Nemestrinus



= Siphunculatae Meigen 1804

TYPIFIED NAME IN BASIC FORMAT: Nemestrinus/fg (incl. Pangonia)


MODERN STATUS: the oldest name of a non-accepted polyphyletic taxon.

2) Siphunculata Latreille 1825

NOMEN: Siphunculata Latreille 1825 [P.A. Latreille. Familles naturelles du règne animal. – Paris, J.B. Baillière, libr., 1825: 1-570]

ORIGINAL LISTED MEMBERSHIP (Latreille 1825): Pediculus (= Pou) + Haematopinus (= Haematopine) + Phthirius (= Phthire)


= Hemiptera epizoica Nitzsch 1818

= Antliota Billberg 1820


= Epizoica Burmeister 1829

= Agnathostomata Spinola 1850

= Phthiraptera Haeckel 1896

= Ellipoptera Shipley 1904

= Lipognatha Borner 1904

= Inrostrata Fahrenholz 1936

= Anoplurida Pearce 1936

TYPIFIED NAME IN BASIC FORMAT: Pediculus/fg (sine  Ricinus)

TYPIFIED NAMES IN USE: Pediculus (sensu Retzius 1783), Pediculides, Pediculites, Pediculidea, Pediculidae, Pediculina, Pediculini, Pediculida, Pediculoidea, Pediculoida

MODERN STATUS:  the valid (while not the oldest) name of a generally accepted, holophyletic taxon.
Systematic position and classification of Siphunculata:


Kluge 2010 BioNomina Dual-Nom :

Currently this taxon, consisting of the sucking lice (Siphunculata) and chewing lice (Mallophaga), is often called “Phthiraptera”, while the taxon consisting of sucking lice only, “Anoplura”. However, based on the original circumscriptions, the name Phthiraptera fits Siphunculata only, while the name Anoplura fits Siphunculata + Mallophaga.

Originally, Phthiraptera Haeckel 1896 was a suborder of the order “Hemiptera” within the legion Pungentia (insects with piercing-sucking mouthparts), while the family Mallophaga was placed in the order Archiptera of the legion Mordentia (insects with chewing mouthparts). Thus, the taxon Phthiraptera included Siphunculata only, but not Mallophaga.

The taxon that kept together the sucking and chewing lice was generally recognized as early as 18th century as genus Pediculus Linnaeus 1758. The oldest non-typified name of this taxon is Parasita Latreille 1796. This name was used in all of Latreille’s works, and by some other 19th century workers. Originally introduced in French only as ‘Parasites’ (Latreille 1796), this name was subsequently latinized as ‘Parasita’ (Latreille 1802 and later). The name is not preoccupied but can be mistaken for a term referring to any parasites. A similar name, Parasitica Hartig 1837, is used to refer to a plesiomorphon of parasitoid Hymenoptera-Apocrita.

The name Anoplura Leach 1815, a junior circumscriptional synonym of Parasita, was introduced as a replacement for the following reasons: Both Latreille and Leach placed this order in the subclass of wingless hexapods (named Apterodicera Latreille 1802 or Ametabolia Leach 1815) consisting of two orders, the lice order and the order accommodating all the primarily wingless hexapods and named Thysanoura Latreille 1796 or Thysanura Leach 1815. The character Leach indicated as separating the order Anoplura from the order Thysanura was Anoplura having “tail without setae or filaments”. “The animals of this order are parasitical, and were by Latreille placed in an order which he named Parasita. This name Dr Leach has changed for the sake of harmony, and also to render the name more easy of retention in the memory, the characters being drawn from the same parts” (Edinburgh Encyclopedia, 1815, 9: 77). Now that the lice are placed with the Pterygota, the point of emphasizing differences between Anoplura and Thysanura has been lost. Leach’s (1815) Anoplura included two tribes, Pediculides (genera Pthirus and Pediculus) and Nirmides (whith a single genus Nirmus (= Ricinus)), the counterparts of today’s Siphunculata and Mallophaga, respectively.

The name Pseudorhynchota Cholodkovsky 1903, originally introduced for a taxon combining ‘Pediculiden’ (German for Pediculida or Pediculidae) and Mallophaga, is a junior circumscriptional synonym of Parasita and Anoplura.

A possible classification of this taxon is as follows:


1. Parasita Latreille 1796 = Anoplura Leach 1815 = Pseudorhynchota Cholodkovsky 1903

1.1. Mallophaga Nitzsch 1818

1.1.1. Amblycera Kellogg 1896

1.1.2. Ischnocera Kellogg 189

1.2. Siphunculata Latreille 1825 (non Latreille 1802) = Phthiraptera Haeckel 1896

1.3. Rhyncophthirina Ferris 1931


What caused the confusion around the names Anoplura and Phthiraptera was probably the changing view on the relationships between sucking and chewing lice. During the 18th and beginning of the 19th century, both groups were considered related based on similar looks and habits; the mouthparts were ignored. The taxon accommodating sucking and chewing lice was variously named Pediculus, Parasita, or Anoplura. Once the striking difference in the mouthparts had been discovered, the concept of the two groups being related got rejected and the sucking lice placed either with Arthroidignatha, whose mouth apparatus is also sucking (e.g., Burmeister 1835–1839) or separately from all other insects (Spinola 1850), while the chewing lice accommodated among other insects with chewing mouthparts. At that time the old name Anoplura got applied to differently defined taxa that consisted either of chewing lice only (e.g., Billberg 1820, Burmeister 1835–1839) or of sucking lice only (e.g., Sharp 1899). In the 20th century both lice groups were put back together based on newly discovered synapomorphies. However, the lingering misconception that the name Anoplura originally meant sucking lice only, causes a different name to be still misused for the taxon including both sucking and chewing lice.


Billberg G.J. 1820. Enumeratio insectorum in museo Gust. Joh. Billberg. Stockholm (Typus Gadelianus): 1–138.

Burmeister H. 1832–1855. Handbuch der Entomologie. Berlin (G. Reimer), Bd. 1–5. Bd. 1, Allgemeine Entomologie (1832). Bd. 2, Besondere Entomologie: Abt. 1 (1835); Abt. 2.: Hf. 1 (1838); Hf. 2 (1839). Bd. 3 (1842). Bd. 4: Abt. 1 (1844); Abt. 2 (1855). Bd. 5 (1847).

Cholodkovsky N. 1903. Zur Morphologie der Pediculiden. // Zoologischer Anzeiger, 27 (4): 120–125.

Haeckel E. 1896. Systematische Phylogenie. Zweiter Theil. Systematische Phylogenie der wirbellosen Thiere (Invertebrata). Berlin (Georg Reimer): 1–720.

Latreille P.A. 1796. Précis des caractères génériques des insectes, disposés dans un ordre naturel. Paris & Brive (Prévôt & Bourdeaux): i–xi + 1–201.

Latreille P.A. 1802–1805. Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière des Crustacés et des Insectes. Tomes 1–14. Paris.

Leach W.E. 1815. Classification. // In: D. Brewster, Edinburgh Encyclopedia, vol. 9, Entomology: 76–162.

Linnaeus C. 1758. Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Editio decima, reformata. Tomus 1. Holmiae (Laurentii Salvii): [i–iv] + 1–824. [A photographic facsimile of the first volume of the tenth edition, London (British Museum of Natural History), 1956: 1–824].

Sharp D. 1899. Some points in the classification of Insecta Hexapoda. // In: A. Sedgwick (ed.) Proceedings of the 4th International Congress of Zoology, Cambridge, 22–27 August, 1898, London (Clay): 246–249.

Spinola M.M. 1850. Tavola sinottica dei generi spettani all classe degli insetti Arthroidignati, Hemiptera Linn., Latr. – Rhyngota Fab. – Rhynchota Burm. // Memoria del Socio attuale signor Marchese Massimiliano Spinola Modena, Societa italiana de Scienze, 25 (1): 1–138.


The name Siphunculata Latreille 1825 should be valid. Its senior homonym Siphunculata Latreille 1902 is not used since 1805, because belongs to a non-accepted taxon; it should be suppressed.