Special Issue "Recent Advances in Taxonomy, Morphology, Evolution and Conservation of Lice"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 December 2023 | Viewed by 260

Special Issue Editors

Guangdong Key Laboratory of Animal Conservation and Resource Utilization, Guangdong Public Laboratory of Wild Animal Conservation and Utilization, Guangdong Institute of Applied Biological Resources, Guangzhou 510260, China
Interests: phthiraptera; ischnocera; co-evolution; host switching; taxonomy; classification
Institute of Zoology, Guangdong Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510651, China
Interests: phthiraptera; biogeography; co-evolution; infestations parameters; symbiotes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Chewing and sucking lice (Phthiraptera) are permanent parasites of birds and mammals that lack free-living stages and, thus, live their entire lives on their hosts. Consequently, their geographical and host distributions are strongly influenced by those of their hosts. Host associations have traditionally been seen as the predominant factor influencing taxon limits and relationships in lice. However, this view has been challenged in recent decades, to the point where the traditional assumption of strict co-speciation and strict host specificity can no longer be maintained. Above all, the older view of the role of host switching has been found to be overly conservative and restrictive. Co-evolutionary analysis of phthirapterans and their hosts regularly show that the supposed impediments to host switching and the evolution of host generalists have been overestimated, and this has been confirmed in transfer experiments and through morphological studies.

This more nuanced view of louse biology has far-reaching influences on our understanding of the biogeographic and host-association patterns, co-evolutionary history, species identification and limits, and ecology of chewing lice, and will shape our view of lice for the foreseeable future. This Special Issue is intended to provide an opportunity to discuss phthirapteran diversity, and its causes and effects, including: phylogenetics, co-phylogenetics, taxonomy, systematics, biogeography, host association patterns (both taxonomic and ecological), bacterial symbionts, conservation status, and other themes that fall within the scope of the journal Diversity. We invite manuscripts on all groups of lice that deal with these topics, but principally manuscripts presented at the 7th International Conference on Phthiraptera to be held in Guangzhou, China, in July 2023.

Dr. Daniel Roland Gustafsson
Dr. Grossi Alexandra Ashley
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diversity is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • phthiraptera
  • co-speciation
  • co-evolution
  • host switching
  • taxonomy
  • classification
  • species limits
  • parasite conservation

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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