Page Title: Orders back
  Photographer: Ken Walker  Source: Museum Victoria


Class: Insecta
Phylum: Arthropoda
Order: Phthiraptera

Wingless ectoparasites with flattened bodies less than 10mm in length. Some species possess chewing and biting mouthparts while others have a proboscis for piercing and sucking. Hooks on the end of their legs allow them to cling onto the fur or feathers of their host. Feed on the blood of mammals and birds. May be eaten by the host or groomed from the body. Two species parasitise humans.