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Barklice Psocids and Book Lice: Psocoptera

Physical Characteristics

Most psocids (SO-sids) are small, ranging from 0.04 to 0.4 inches (1 to 10 millimeters) in length. They are usually brownish or whitish with black markings, but some tropical species are brightly colored with distinctive markings. The large and distinctive head has small to bulging compound eyes, with each eye made up of multiple lenses. The antennae (an-TEH-nee), or sense organs, are long and threadlike. The chewing mouthparts are directed downward and include parts that are sharp and pointed. The front of the head is usually swollen to make room inside for special muscles that control the part of the mouth known as the sucking pump. The thorax or midsection, especially the first segment, is usually narrower than the head or abdomen. Most adult psocids have four wings that are fully developed and are held like a roof over the body when at rest. Some species have wings that are reduced in size or absent altogether. The legs are usually slender, but in some species the back legs are swollen to help with jumping or crawling backward. The relatively large abdomen is eleven-segmented.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceInsects and SpidersBarklice Psocids and Book Lice: Psocoptera - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Book Louse (liposcelis Bostrychophila): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, PSOCIDS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS