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Emilie Bess and Kevin P. Johnson taxon links [up-->]Calopsocus [up-->]Nemupsocus [up-->]Neurosema [up-->]Cyclopsocus [up-->]Callistopterinae [up-->]Calosema [up-->]Dendropsocus [up-->]Torrepsocus [down<--]Homilopsocidea Interpreting the tree
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Containing group: Homilopsocidea


The family Calopsocidae contains about 34 species in 8 genera distributed in Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands.

These are medium to large-sized bark lice (4-6 mm).  Body colors are generally light to dark brown but some are very brightly colored.  Calopsocids inhabit green leaves, including palm fronds. 



General Characters

How to Know the Family

Family Monophyly

Calopsocidae appears to be a highly specialized group within the family Pseudocaeciliidae (Johnson et al. 2004). The monophyly of Calopsocidae is well supported by several morphological features: sharply angled vertex that is deeply emarginated medially, presence of numerous secondary veins in the forewing, a somewhat elongate mandible, a ball-shaped galea, and the presence of a preapical tooth on the pretarsal claw (Yoshizawa 2002).

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

Relationships within the family have not been investigated using molecular techniques.


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.

New, T.R. 2005. Psocids, Psocoptera (Booklice and barklice), 2nd edition: Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects. Vol. 1, Part 7. Royal Entomological Society, London, UK.

Smithers, C. N. 1996. Psocoptera. Pp. 1-80, 363-372 (Index) in Wells A. (ed.) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol. 26. Psocoptera, Phthiraptera, Thysanoptera. Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing, Australia.

Thornton, I.W.B. and C.N. Smithers. 1984. Systematics of the Calopsocidae, an Oriental and Melanesian family of Psocoptera. Systematic Enomology 9: 183-244.

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. Calopsocidae. Version 25 March 2009 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Calopsocidae/14474/2009.03.25 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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