Title image by Charles Ray, Auburn University
introduction image
Illustration by Kathryn M. Sommerman

Skip to Psocid taxonomy

This guide to the psocids of Texas is an ongoing project to aid those interested in this often overlooked group. Most specimens, unfortunately, cannot be identified without microscopic examination, dissection and preparation of permanent slides. I present these images to convey the diversity of these remarkable insects. Click the psocid image for a link to that BugGuide species page. Unless otherwise stated, all species images were taken by the author.  The term for the Order in which psocids belong  (Psocoptera) has, according to some experts, been changed to Psocodea.

For questions or comments E-Mail: Diane W. Young

The expert on psocids of North America is Dr. Edward L. Mockford of Illinois State University. His book, "North American Psocoptera" (Sandhill Crane Press, 1993), is the essential reference for this group. Imagine the task of taking on an entire order of insects for your life's work! Dr. Mockford remains active in the field of psocidology. He has described over 430 species! The information listed on this website is taken primarily from Mockford's publications with additional comments from my own personal observations. For species lists worldwide and current research in this group contact Psocid News.

Edward Mockford
Garcia Aldrete.

Dr. Alfonso Garcia Aldrete, at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), Instituto de Biologia, is a PhD student of Dr. Mockford's and is active in the field of psocidology. He has described over 418 species native to the U.S., Mexico, Central and South America. Many of the tropical psocids are actually colorful and have very unusual wing venation. Dr. Garcia Aldrete certainly has his work cut out for him with hundreds of un-described species to deal with. 

George Opit.

Dr. George P. Opit is an Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University, Dept. of Entomology & Plant Pathology. He has a great online key to domestic booklice at: http://entoplp.okstate.edu/labs/go/psocid/

Warning... Booklice are a tricky group, to say the least. You will have to do some tedious slide work if you expect to ID any booklice. If you are brave enough to attempt an ID you have my admiration.

beauty queen.
Ed and me.
Garcia Aldrete.
blaste on lichen.

Psocids and psocid hunters


My barklice adventures have just begun. As you can see, I get much help from my feline companion. My range maps are taken from my own collection, from specimens recorded from the University of Texas Insect Collection, Texas A&M Insect Collection, from the scientific literature and even BugGuide. As I extend the ranges, I will update the range maps. I will be adding species to the website as I encounter them. Please inform me if you have preserved specimens with collection data that would add counties to the Texas range maps. Range maps not shown for Liposcelididae. Species identification in this taxon is very difficult and I will not attempt to post images unless I have had expert verification. Un-described species may not have a BugGuide page.

Psocids include barklice, found in trees, shrubs and leaf litter as well as booklice which inhabit manmade dwellings and dead vegetation. They are hemimetabolous (incomplete metamorphosis) and share with other hemipteroid insects a reduction in tarsomeres, absence of cerci and unique anatomy of the hypopharynx. These insects were until recently placed in the order Psocoptera with the lice in a separate order Phthiraptera. Molecular genetic evidence has confirmed past suspicions that true lice evolved from booklice and this finding has brought about a taxonomic reshuffling in which bark lice and parasitic lice share the order Psocodea. According to K. Yoshizawa, C. Lienhard and K. Johnson, "seven suborders are now generally recognized within the Psocodea: Trogiomorpha (bark lice), Troctomorpha (book lice and bark lice), Psocomorpha (bark lice), Amblycera (chewing lice), Ischnocera (chewing lice), Rhynchophthirina (chewing lice) and Anopleura (sucking lice)"; Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 146:287-299, 2006). It is even theorized that lice arose twice from psocid ancestors ("Multiple origins of parasitism in lice" Johnson, K. P., Yoshizawa, K., Smith, V. S., Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 271:1771-1776, 2004. This idea is hotly debated. See section on louse evolution in the Psocoptera on Amber section below.
Rudolph fig.     Soft bodied psocids and true lice are surprisingly resistant to desiccation because of a remarkable ability described by D. Rudolph (J. Insect Physiol. 28(3):205-212, 1982).  As shown in this illustration from Rudolph’s paper, psocids can eject “lingual sclerites” (sl) to the external environment where they actively absorb water from humid air. These structures are then pulled back into the head. This ability is also present in booklice and true lice and helps explain their presence in relatively arid habitats.

sense cushion.One of the most fascinating anatomical features of barklice is the sensorium (sense cushion) which is found on the dorso-lateral surface of the paraproct in winged specimens. This structure is thought to be a reminant of the cerci. This SEM image was taken by Dr. Gregory Paulson of Shippensburg University. It depicts the sensorium with  trichobothria surrounded by basal florets. It is theorized that this structure detects wind currents and aids in flight. In more "primitive" species the sensorium has fewer,  more dispersed trichobothria. Speleketor flocki (Prionoglaridae), for example, has only 4 trichobothria/ sensorium. Ref.: Mockford, E. L., The Southwestern Naturalist 29(2): 169-179, 1984.

Among the few entomologists who have dared venture into “Psocoptera”, there have been some real characters.  Although known as an expert on dragonflies, Robin Tillyard described numerous psocid species, including some ancient ones. He was obsessed by the giant Permian griffenflies.  According to David Grimaldi Tillyard.and Michael Engel (Evolution of the Insects, p.140) “Tillyard sought a mystic to reveal the deep past so that he could see the griffenflies in flight, but he was a careful and thoughtful scientist.” Legend has it that Tillyard gave a lecture in the 1920s while visiting Kansas and members of the audience said that he spoke of the griffenflies as though he had seen them in person. The lower Permian Elmo limestone formation of Kansas has yielded fossil dragonflies as well as insects which were “well on their way to being Psocoptera” (Courtney N. Smithers, Classification and Phylogeny of the Psocoptera, Part V. Fossil Psocoptera, The Australian Museum Memoir 14, 1972, p. 240). Image to the right shows Tillyard (center) examining fossils from Elmo (courtesy of Roy J. Beckemeyer, windsofkansas.com). This is one of several newly discovered images of Tillyard.

fossil wings.The ancient "psocids" described by Tillyard from Permian formations in Kansas and Australia differed from modern psocids in the following characters: 1) fore and hind wings were of more equal size, 2) wing venation was more extensive; for example, vein M had 4 branches, 3) antennae had more than 50 segments, 4) tarsi were 4-segmented, and 5) maxillary and labial palps had greater number of segments.  

According to Charles Lienhard and Courtney N. Smithers in "Psocoptera World Catalogue & Bibliography", Instrumenta Biodiversitatis , Museum d'hostoire naturelle, Geneve, 2002 : The [Permian] fossil "psocids" cannot be assigned to Psocoptera as this order is defined at present and are not mentioned in this catalogue." Cenozoic and Cretaceous psocid species found in amber are included in this catalogue.


Psocoptera in amber

psocid in amber“Psocoptera” are well represented as inclusions in amber.  Baltic amber was formed during the Eocene epoch at around 44 million years ago. The image to the left (Baltic) is from a beautiful website by  Anders Damgaard http://amber-inclusions.dk/?id=332828 .

David Grimaldi and Michael Engel (Fossil Liposcelididae and the lice ages, Proc. R. Soc. B 273:625-633, 2005) describe the "oldest and most primitive Liposcelididae" from mid-cretaceous amber (100 million year old) from Myanmar. Cretoscelis burmitica possessed numerous plesiomorphic traits that distinguish it from all other genera of winged Liposcelididae. This find extends the geological age of the family to twice that of the previous oldest fossil Embidopsocus eocenicus. The authors speculate on the origin of lice: "we find louse polyphyly implausible for several reasons. ...[it] requires two origins of a suite of features distinctive to lice. "Until compeling evidence indicates otherwise, it seems reasonable to assume monophyly of Phthiraptera. This specialized lifestyle apparently originated in the Early Cretaceous, fed by diverse early mammals, haired pterosaurs, amd feathered thropods. Phthiraptera probably did not significantly diversify, though, until the large radiations of placental mammals and passerine birds that took place in the Tertiary, which can justifiably be called an 'age of lice'".

Tim King of Highland Lake (Blount Co, Alabama) recently discovered psocids using a Berlese funnel on leaf litter which were the first living species of a genus previously only known from Baltic amber.  In a sense the are "living fossils". Edward Mockford recently described the species Sphaeropsocus bicolor (A new species of Sphaeripsocus Hagen from southeastern United States: the first living species of its genus, Life: The Excitement of Biology,1(2):100-111, 2013).

In a recent study of all fossil “Psocoptera” known to occur in amber, 32 species were listed encompassing 27 genera and 11 families, including the extinct Archaetropidae and Empheriidae  (Mockford, E. L.; Lienhard, Charles; and Yoshizawa, Kazunori; Revised Classification of “Psocoptera” from Cretaceous Amber, a reassessment of published information”, Insecta Matsumurna, New Series  69:1-26, 2013).  No extant genus was represented in Cretaceous amber. The Psocomorpha represent 6% of species in Cetaceous amber, 69% in Baltic amber (Paleogene) and 84% in extant species. The main radiation of the Psocomopha, therefore, appears to have occurred in the Cenozoic.  

 webbing.Psocoptera Silk

Silk is only produced in the Classes Insecta and Arachnida. This proteinaceous material is composed of repetitive amino acid sequences and transforms from liquid to solid form as it is extruded.  "Despite the fact that silks spun by insects and spiders evolved independently, they display some remarkable similarities that could suggest convergence and stabilizing selection" Catherine L. Craig, "Spiderwebs and Silk", Oxford U. Press, 2003, p.32. Silk production, in at least some species, is present in all insect groups except Collembola, Protura, Odonata, Phthiraptera and Zoraptera. Even larval fleas can spin silk. "On the basis of silk gland type, silk protein molecular structure, and the phylogenetic relationship of silk-producing species, we grouped insect silks into 23 distinct categories, each likely to represent an independent evolutionary event. Despite having diverse functions and fundamentally different protein structures, these silks typically have high levels of protein crystallinity and similar amino acid compositions. The substantial crystalline content confers extraordinary mechanical properties and stability to silk and appears to be required for production of fine protein fibers." T. D. Sutherland, J.H. Young, S. Weisman, C.Y. Hayashi and D. J. Merritt, Insect Silk: One Name, Many Materials, Ann. Rev. Entomol. 55:171-188, 2010.

Among insects there are four distinct types of glands that produce silk: collateral, dermal, labial and malpighian. Labial silk glands evolved only twice, once in the "Psocoptera" and later in holometabolos insect larvae (Craig., p.19). The simplified labium in psocids consists of labial palps of only one to two segments with the silk gland opening between them. Psocids often cover their eggs with a sparse layer of silk. I have personally observed lachesillids spin silk in my collection vials and I suspect that some species might use silk in some escape strategy but this is just wild speculation on my part.  Both nymphs and adult psocids can spin silk.

 Check out my video of a female Ectopsocus meridionalis silking over her clutch of eggs: here.

The champion among psocids, as far as silk spinning, occurs in the Archipsocidae, the basal Psocomorph lineage.  Archipsocus nomas, for example, builds extensive silken retreats like that shown to the left in a photo by Dr. Douglas Caldwell of the University of Florida. The webbing is harmless but often attracts the attention of homeowners who immediately call the exterminator. What a shame.

 Psocids from the Twilight Zone 

devil psocid.   This litle horned devil, Peritroctes bengalensis Thornton & Wong  hails from the botanical gardens of Calcutta (Thornton, W. B. & S. K. Wong, Some Psocoptera from West Bengal, India, Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London, 118(1): 1-21, 1966). This species is in the family Pachytroctidae. Now here is the amazing thing that happened. Right after I read about this curious creature, I found some living in my leaf liter/ dead palm frond habitat!! I did not know they even occured on this continent. Dr. Mockford was a bit surprised as well and he told me that he and his PhD student Alfonso Gracia Aldrete are currently working on Pachytroctidae. Small world, isn't it? I am sending him specimens of the male and winged female of the little horned devil. Amateur entomology can be so much fun!

I later found out that there is another bizarre species in the same family that does it one better. Ashley B. Gurney in 1965 described Antilopsocus nadleri from Trinidad and Brazil. "I am glad to name this remarkable insect in honor of one of its discoverers, my friend Aaron M. Nadler" from "A New Genus of Neotropical Psocids with Horn-like structures on the Head", Entomological News, 76(1): 1-10, 1965. One wonders if the male of the species (currently unknown) also has "antlers".  Might these decorations on the vertex be part of a mating ritual? Could these amazing "antlers" be an example of sexual selection even if both sexes might bear them? If I'm ever down that way, I'd sure like to see one of these first hand!

The supernumerary veins in the forewing of members of the new genus Ianthorntonia really areThorntonia. super! This genus is named after the psocidologist Ian Thornton. These Bolivian psocids are in the family Epipsocidae which is one of the most diverse in the "Psocoptera". See Alfonso N. Garcia Aldrete, "A new epiposcid genus from Bolivia", in Thorntonia A Commemorative Volume for Ian W. B. Thornton, Publicaciones Especiales  20, Universiad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, pp. 99-113, 2004.

   This section still under construction!




Suborder Trogiomorpha

Infraorder Atropetae


Subfamily Thylacellinae

Thylacella cubana (Banks)  1941

Thylacella cubana map.Size: 2.5 mm Range: This is the only species of the genus in the Western Hemisphere. It has been  colleted around Brownsville, TX and penninsular Florida. Outside the U.S. it occurs in Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. Habitat: persistant dead leaves of various plants, also on trunks and branches of trees.

Thylacella cubana female.

Subfamily Lepidopsocinae

Echmepteryx hageni (Packard)  1870

Echmepteryx hageni map.

Size: ~ 3 mm Range outside Texas: Eastern U.S. west to Arkansas Habitat: Bark and leaves of deciduous trees and on exposed  outcrops. Males are rare except at a few sites in the U.S.

echmepteryx hageni.

Subfmily Echinopsocinae

Neolepolepis occidentalis (Mockford) 1955

Neolepolepis occidentalis map.

Size: ~1.6 mm. Range outside Texas: Eastern U.S.  less common in the southwest. Habitat: Leaf litter. There is a macropterous form of this species and I would be delighted to encounter it.

Neolepolepis occidentalis.


Cerobasis guestfalica (Kolbe)  1880

Cerobasis guestfalica map.

Size: 1.5 mm. Cosmopolitan. Habitat: Deciduous and evergreen trees and stone outcrops. Identified by the anchor shaped mark on the frons. Most populations are parthenogenetic.

Cerobasis guestfalica

Lepinotus reticulatus Enderlein  1905

Lepinotus reticulatus map.

Size: ~ 1.2 mm. Range: Cosmopolitan. Habitat: Leaf litter, granaries, bird and mammal nests. Winglets with a distinctive reticulate pattern. The wings are easily dislodged. This species can become a pest in stored food products.

Lepinotus reticulatus

Trogium pulsatorium (Linnaeus) 1758

TRogium oulsatorium map.Size: ~ 1.7 mm. Range:  Not common; found primarily in the northeast; Habitat: Can occur in grain mills, bird nests, even herbaria. I have only found it on palms (Sabal minor) at Aquarena Springs. Males and females look very much alike.

Trogium pulsatorium.


Rhyopsocus bentonae Sommerman 1956

Rhyopsocus bentonae map.Size: male 1.03 mm, female 1.18 mm Range:  throughout penninsular Florida, Atlantic Coast to Brunswick GA, around Gulf Coast to Texas, southern and southeastern Mexico. Habitat: dead leaves of palm, yucca and Typha. In this photo the male is on the left. I call this one the "Hobbit psocid".

Rhyopsocus bentonae.

Rhyopsocus eclipticus Hagen 1876

Rhyopsocus eclipticus map Size: 1.4 mm. Range: Atlantic Coastal Plain, Gulf Coast from Florida to south Texas, along Mississippi embankment to southern Illinois. Habitat: dead persistent leaves, conifer foilage and leaf litter. Note the large terminal segment of the maxillary palps.

Rhyopsocus eclipticus, male
Rhyopsocus eclipticus female

Infraorder Psocathropetae


 Psyllipsocus ramburii Selys-Longchamps 1872  

Psyllipsocus ramburii map.Size: 2 mm Range: cosmopolitan Females micropterous or macro- pterous. Found in caves, cellars and occasionally shaded outcrops. Records: Texas Memorial Museum
Photo by Matthew Bergeron.

Psyllipsocus ramburii

Suborder Troctomorpha

Infraorder Amphientometae


Lithoseopsis hellmani (Mockford & Gurney)  1956

Lithoseopsis hellmani map.Size: 3.5 mm Range outide Texas: southern Arizona south to Central America. - Habitat: Shaded limestone outcrops. This species is part of a complex of closely related species found from southern Texas. Known from female only.
Lithoseopsis hellmani.

Infraorder Nanopsocetae


Subfamily Embidopsocinae

Belaphotroctes  sp.

Yes, there are liposcelidids with wings! In this genus mx4 is much wider than mx3. Females may be apteous or macropterous depending on species.

Size: 1.7 mm Range: Winged females have been found in Hays Co. This specimen was caught sweeping grass. This one is a possible ant mimic. We hope to find apterous males and females of this species.

Belaphotroctes sp. female.

Embidopsocus laticeps Mockford 1963

Size: ~ 1.0 mm Range: Texas- Harris Co.; Gulf Coast Florida to Texas and in Bullock Co. Ga. Habitat: under bark of dead trees. Known from males, macropterors and apterous females.

    Photograph by Graham Montgomery

Ebidopsocus laticeps.

Subfamily Liposcelidinae

Liposcelis Section I

Liposcelis brunnea Motschulsky 1852

Size: ~ 1.1 mm Range: west Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, northeast to Ottowa, Ontario.
Habitat: Conifer and oak foilage, and ground litter beneath these trees, bird nests and domestic situations

  Image by George Opit

Liposcelis brunnea.

Liposcelis deltachi  Sommerman  1957

Size: 1.1 mm Range: Hays Co.; Southern and western Texas, southern New Mexico, southern Oklahoma; San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Habitat: Foliage of junipers, pine, yuccas, mesquite and leaf litter. Known from females only.

Liposcelis deltachi.

Liposcelis entomophila (Enderlein)  1907

Size: ~ 1.1 mm. Range: Texas- Hays Co.;  Midwest and southeastern U.S. to central Texas; fairly cosmopolitan. Habitat: Primarily domestic but also taken in leaf litter. Field collected specimens (as in leaf litter) mostly tropical and subtropical. Known from male and female.

Liposcelis entomophila

Liposcelis hirsutoides Mockford 1978

Size: 1.1 mm. Range: central and south Texas and in central-penninsular Florida.  Habitat: woody vegetation and under bark. I find it especially on lichen covered banches of Mesquite.  Known from both sexes but I have yet to photograph a male.
Liposcelis hirsutoides

Liposcelis ornata Mockford 1978

Size: 1.2 mm. Range: Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas and in the Mexican states of San Luis Potosi and Tabasco. Known from female only. Habitat: Great variety of trees and shrubs. I have found in in leaf litter and dead palm fronds.

Liposcelis ornata

Liposcelis pearmani Lienhard 1990

Size: ~ 1.1 mm. Range: Texas- Hays Co.  Relatively cosmopolitan; recorded from several U. S. states including Texas. Habitat: Domestic; also found in bird nests, under bark and sweeping grass. This species is known from both sexes.

Liposcelis pearmani.

Liposcelis pallida Mockford  1978

Size: ~ 1 mm. Range: Texas- Blanco Co.; Known from the Davis Mts. of Texas and Catalina Mts. of Arizona. The specimen pictured was collected at Flat Creek (Blanco Co.). Habitat: Dead persistent leaves of yucca; leaf litter. Known from both sexes.

Liposcelis pallida.

Liposcelis Section II

Liposcelis bostrychophila Badonnel 1931

Size: ~ 1.0 mm Range: Texas- Hays Co.;  Cosmopolitan Habitat: under bark, bird nests, stored grain, old books, chicken litter. Known only from females. If there is a classic booklouse, this is it

Liposcelis bostrychophila.


Nanopsocus oceanicus Pearman 1928

Nanopsocus oceanicus mapSize: ~ macropterous female , 1.5 mm., apteous female 1.0 mm. Range: southeastern U. S. north to Illinois; also Mexico, Central America, West Indies, West and Central Africa, Japan and South Pacific Islands . Habitat: Occurs on dead leaves of palms, bamboos and grasses.

Nanopsocus oceanicus male
Nanopsocus oceanicus ap female
Macropterous females brown; apterous females creamy white; males (apterous) creamy white but with a reddish brown stripe along anterior margin of abdominal terga 2-7. This genus is characterized by a foliate shaped hind tarsal claw on each foot.
Nanopsocus oceanicus mac female.
Nanopsocus oceanicus mac female.

Peritroctes bengalensis Thornton 1966

Peritroctes bengalensis map Size: 1.1 mm. Range: First recorded from the Botanical Gardens of Calcutta, India by Ian W. B. Thornton & S. K. Wong, "Some Psocoptera from West Bengal, India", Transactions of the  Royal Entomological Society of London, 118(1):1-21, 1966. Habitat: leaf litter, dead palm frinds, dead persistent leaves.

Peritroctes bengalensis ap female
Awaiting image of male
I have a colony in my leaf litter/ dead palm frond habitat here in San Marcos, TX. I am not sure what the big picture is. Awaiting image of macropterous female

Tapinella maculata Mockford & Gurney 1956 

Tapinella maculata map.Size: male ~ 1 mm, female ~ 1.5 mm.  Range: Central Texas to lower Rio Grande Valley, Mexico and South America.  Habitat: dead palm and grass leaves  Known from males, macropterous and apterous females.
Tapinella maculata male. Tapinella maculata female.

To the left is the macropterous female (length 1.7 mm). In my experience, this form is rarer than the apterous one. In this family, the wings are held flat over the abdomen, not roof-like as in the Psocomorpha. Dr. Mockford says that this individual from Gonzales Co. shows much more patterning on the head than specimens in far south Texas.
Tapinella maculata macropterous.
Tapinella maculata female mac.

Tapinella sp. "Type 2"

Tapinella t2 map.Size:  male ~ 1.1 mm, female ~ 1.3 mm   Range: unknown   Habitat: Leaf litter  This un-described species lacks the backwards "U" shaped marks along the lateral edge of the abdomen. This species often occurs with Tapinella maculata.

Tapinella sp type 2 male. Tapinella sp type 2 female.

The images on this row depict the macropterous form of  Tapinella sp. Type 2.  These individuals possess ocelli while the apterous morphs do not. 

Tapinella sp. 2 female marop
Tapinella sp 2 female macrop.


Sphaeropsocus bicolor Mockford 2013

Sphaeropsocus bicolor map.Size: 0.7 mm Range: single site  Habitat: leaf litter This species has not been forund in Texas but it is so remarkable that I had to include it. "It is the first living species of its genus, known otherwise only from Sphaeropsocus kuenowii Hagen, a fossil species from the Baltic amber (Eocene)." Mockford, E. L., A New species of Sphaeropsocus Hagen from south eastern U. S.: the first living species of its genus, Life: the Excitement of Biology 1(2): 100-111, 2013.  

Sphaeropsocus bicolor.

Suborder Psocomorpha

Epipsocetae    Caeciliusetae    Homilopsocidea    Psocetae

Infraorder Epipsocetae


Bertkauia crosbyana Chapman 1930

Bertkauia crosbyana map.

Size: ~ 1.7 mm  Range: throughout eastern U.S., southern Rocky Mts., northwest Washington state. Mexico: San Cristobal and Chiapas. Habitat: woodland ground litter Males (very rare) macropterous, femaes micropterous.

Bertkauia crosbyana.

 Infraorder Caeciliusetae






Stenocaecilius casarum (Badonnel) 1931

Stenocaecilius casarum.Size: ~ 3.5 mm Range: outside Texas- Gulf Coast from south Florida to the Rio Grande Valley. Wide range in the tropics including Mexico, Guatemala & Venezuela. Habitat: Living or dead palm foilage. With the exception of a single male taken in Guyana, this species consists only of females.

Stenocaecilius casarum.

Valenzuela croesus (Chapman)  1930                                 

Valenzuela croesus map.Size: ~ 3 mm  Range: Texas, Arkansas east to Mississippi, North Carolina and north the New York; ranges from Mexico to Guatemala. Habitat: Prefers foilage of Juniperus and Cupressus.

Valenzuela croesus male.
Valenzuela croesus female.

Valenzuela flavidus (Stephens) 1836

Valenzuela flavidus map.Size: 3.6 mm, Range outside Texas: eastern U. S., northern Pacific Coast, also Europe, Canary Islands, Bermuda, and Mexico. Habitat: Foilage of broadleaf trees. Males are scarce throughout most of the range. Populations which have males may represent a sibling species (Mockford, 1993).
Valenzuela flavidus male. Valenzuela flavidus female.

Valenzuela lochloosae (Mockford) 1965

Valenzuela lochloosae map.

Size: ~ 3 mm   Range: Throughout Florida and southeast Alabama.  Range probably along entire Gulf Coast. Habitat: persistent dead leaves of native grasses.

Valenzuela lochloosae male. Valenzuela lochloosae female.

Valenzuela manteri (Sommerman) 1943

map of Valenzuela manteri.Size: ~ 3 mm Range outside Texas: eastern U. S.  records in Minnesota, Missouri and Nebraska. Habitat: dead leaves of cattail, corn and palmetto. This species was described by Kathryn M. Sommerman in "Description and bionomics of Caecilius manteri", Proc. Ent. Soc. of Washington, 45(2): 9-39, 1943 with marvelous illustrations. Males are rare in this species.
        awaiting image of macropterous female                
Valenzuela manteri mic female.

Valenzuela micanopi  (Mockford)  1965

Valenzuela micanopi map.

Size: male 3.0 mm, female 3.2 mm Range outside  Texas:  throughout Florida, southeast Alabama and on Bimini Island and the Bahamas.  Habitat: dead leaves of Sabal and Coccothrinax
Valenzuela micanopi male. Valenzuela micanopi female.

Valenzuela subflavus (Aaron) 1886


Valenzuela subflavus map.

Size: ~ 2.5 mm  Range: Outside Texas - Atlantic and Gulf Coast  Habitat:  foliage of broadleaf evergreen trees like American holly and live oak.
Valenzuela subflavus. Valenzuela subflavus female.


Graphopsocus cruciatus (Linnaeus) 1768

Graphopsocus cruciatus map.

Size:  ~3.8 mm   Range:  Texas Gulf Coast. This non-native species was apparently introduced along both coasts sometime in the early 19th century. Habitat: Foilage of braodleaf deciduous and evergreen trees.
Graphopsocus cruciatus male. Graphopsocus cruciatus female.


Polypsocus corruptus (Hagen) 1861

 Polypsocus corruptus map.                                                  Size: ~ 3.5 mm  Range outside Texas: eastern U. S. west to Missouri; eastern Canada and Pacific coast from British Columbia south to northern Califorina. There are closely related species in Mexico. Habitat: Variety of broad-leaf  trees including Magnolia.

Polypsocus corruptus male.
Polypsocus corruptus female.


Teliapsocus conterminus (Walsh) 1863

Teliapsocus conterminus map.Size: 5.6 mm Range: Throughout most of U.S. and Canada, but absent from northern midwestern states. Habitat: Great variety of broad-leaf and coniferous trees and occasionally ground litter. Not known outside North America. Male image by Patrick Coin.

Teliapsocus conterminus male.
Teliapsocus conterminus female.

Infraorder Homilopsocidea








Andra Group

Lachesilla kola Sommerman 1946

Lachesilla kola map.

Size: ~ 2.2 mm  Range: Outside Texas- Records from southern California, Arizona and New Mexico  Habitat: specimens shown found on dead Chinaberry branches near the Concho River

Lachesillla kola male. Lachesilla kola female.

Lachesilla nubilis (Aaron) 1886

Lachesilla nubilis map.

Size: ~ 2.6 mm  Range: Outside Texas- throughout eastern U.S. west to New Mexico, Colorado and Utah.  Habitat: dead grasses and dead limbs with persistent leaves.

Lachesilla nubilis male. Lachesilla nubilis female.

Lachesilla texana Mockford & Garcia Aldrete  2010

Lachesilla texana map.

Size: ~2.2 mm  Range: Outside Texas - a second population in the Smokey Mts.  Mexico: Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, and Cerrode la Silla.  Habitat:  dead leaves on clumps of native grasses.

Lachesilla texana male. Lachesilla texana female.

Corona Group

Lachesilla michiliensis Garcia Aldrete 1991

Lachesilla michilensis map.

Size: ~ 1.5 mm Range: Outside Texas  Mexico: Durango State Habitat: under loose bark Known only from female. "This species is neotenic as indicated by the brachyptery, small oceli and almost complete absence of sensory fields on the paraprocts" Garcia Aldrete, A., "Lachesillidae from the Biosphere Reserve 'La Michilia", Durango and Surrounding Areas, Folia Entomologica Mexicana 81: 165-183, 1991.

  photograph by Graham Montgomery

Lachesilla michiliensis.

Forcepeta Group

  Lachesilla anna  Sommerman 1946

Lachesilla anna map.Size: 3.2 mm Range: Outside Texas occurs throughout eastern U.S. and southeastern Canada, south to Marian Co. Florida and west to Texas Co. Missouri. Habitat: persistent dead leaves trees and shrubs.

Lachesilla anna male.
Lachesilla anna female.

Lachesilla contraforcepeta Chapman 1930

Lachesilla contraforcepeta map.

Size: ~ 2.0 mm  Range: Outside Texas- throughout eastern U.S., and Rocky Mountain region, New Mexico, Colorado, Idaho. Habitat: conifers such as junipers and pine. Male claspers curve outward.

Lachesilla contraforcepeta male. Lachesilla contraforsepeta femae.

Lachesilla floridana  Garcia Aldrete  1999

Lachesilla floridana map.

Size: 2.0 mm  Range: Outside Texas coastal distribution in Florida and Alabama;  Habitat: Found on dead palm and palmetto fronds.  Note the crossvein between the pterostigma and vein Rs.

Lachesilla floridana male. Lachesilla floridana, female.

Lachesilla forcepeta Chapman 1930

Lachesilla forcepeta map.

Size: ~ 2.0 mm  Range: Outside of Texas- throughout eastern U.S. west to Oklahoma and Kansas and the San Antonio area of Texas.  Habitat: conifers including Juniperus ashei.

Lachesilla forcepeta male. Lachesilla forcepeta female.

Lachesilla kathrynae Mockford & Gurney 1956

Lachesilla kathrynae map.

Size: ~ 2.5 mm   Range:  Lower Rio Grande Valley  Mexico: Tabasco State  Habitat: dead foliage of palms and carrizo grass

Lachesilla kathrynae male. Lachesilla katherynae female.

Lachesilla penta Sommerman 1946

Lachesilla penta map.

Size: ~ 2.5 mm  Range: Outside Texas- Gulf states from Texas to Florida; eastern Mexico south to Chiapas State.  Habitat: prsistant dead leaves of deciduous trees and palms.

Lachesilla penta male. Lachesilla penta female.

Pedicularia Group

Lachesilla pedicularia (Linnaeus) 1758

map Lachesilla pedicularia. Size: 2.5 mm. Range: This species has been recorded from most of the U. S. nearly cosmopolitan elsewhere. Habitat: Found on grasses, dead persistent leaves, dried grain  and occcasionally conifers. It is easily transported in human commerce and can become a pest of stored grain.

Awaiting image of male.
Lachesilla pedicularia female

Lachesilla rena Sommerman 1946

Lachesilla rena map.

Size: 1.8 mm  Range: Outside Texas - southern California and Maricopa Co. Arizona and throughout much of Mexico.  Habitat: dead grasses and low vegetation.

Lachesilla rena male Lachesilla rena female.

Lachesilla tectorum Badonnel 1931

Lachesilla tectorum map.Size: 2.5 mm Range: outside Texas- Gulf coast  Florida to Texas Mexico: Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon Habitat: dead leaves of palm and tall grasses Known from female only

Lachesilla tectorum female.

Lachesilla yucateca Mockford 2002

Lachesilla yucateca map.

Size: ~ 1.7 mm   Range: Outside Texas- Mexico: Oaxaca, Tamaulipas, Yucatan,  Habitat: persistent dried leaves of native grasses. This species belongs to the Rena complex in which the male epiproct is extremely long and narrow.

Lachesilla yucateca male. Lachesilla yucateca female.

Riegeli Group

Lachesilla tropica  Garcia Aldrete 1982

Lachesilla tropica map.

Size: 2.2 mm Range - Outside Texas: Florida, throughout most of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica. Habitat: hanging dead leaves of trees and shrubs.

Lachesilla tropica male. Lachesilla tropica female.

Rufa Group

Lachesilla nita Sommerman 1946

Lachesilla nita map Size: 2.5 mm. Range: Gulf Coast Georgia to Texas, also in Mexico, Beliize, Guatemala, and Panama. Habitat: Found on cabbage palm, various oaks, Eleagnus and other shrubs. Note the characteristic diffuse spot in each cell from R3, R5, M1, M2, M3.

Lachesilla nita male
Lachesilla nita female

Sclera Group

Lachesilla sulcata Garcia Aldrete 1986

Lachesilla sulcata map.

Size: ~ 2.0 mm   Range: Outside Texas- Gulf states from Texas to Florida. Mexico: Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Chiapas. Habitat: native grass.The male of this species was only recently been described (Garcia Aldrete & Mockford "Reappraisal of Species Group Patzunensis" Proc. Ent. Soc. Washington 113(4): 417-425, 2011

Lachesilla sulcata female.


Ectopsocopsis cryptomeriae (Enderlein) 1907

Ectopsocopsis cryptomeriae map.

Size:  ~ 1.7 mm   Range: Outside Texas- Gulf States from Texas to Florida and north to New York, west to Illinois   Habitat: leaf litter; hanging dead leaves

Ectopsocopsis cryptomeriae male. Ectopsocopsis cryptomeriae female.

Ectopsocus californicus (Banks) 1903

Ectopsocus californicus map.

Size: ~ 2.4 mm  Range: Outside Texas: U. S. Atlantic and Pacific Coast, Mexico and the highlands of Guatemala   Habitat: living and dead foliage of broadleaf and coniferous trees

Ectopsocus californicus male. Ectopsocus californicus female.

Ectopsocus meridionalis Ribaga  1904

Ectopsocus meridionalis map.Size: 2.4 mm  Range outsie Texas: throughout eastern U.S. south to Florida; central Mexico to  to Chile, southern Europe, Africa and Japan. Habitat: persistent dead leaves. Known only from female.           
Ectopsocus meridionalis.

Ectopsocus vachoni Badonnel 1945

Ectopsocus vachoni map.

Size: males ~ 1.0 mm, females ~ 1.7 mm Range: Outside Texas- US Gulf States,California; Mexico, South America, and Europe Habitat: leaf litter, dried grass and lower foliage of trees.

Ectopsocus vachoni male. Ectopsocus vachoni female.

In this species, the males are micropterous and the females are either macropterous or micropterous. The tiny male has a dark clunial comb (visible in a dissecting microscope) which identifies it as mature. I once observed a male  approaching a female and  vibrating his body  rhythmically as a prelude to courtship. This species is likely very common throughout Texas.

Ectopsocus vachoni micropterous female.


Peripsocus madidus (Hagen) 1861

Peripsocus madidus map.Size:~ 3.2 mm Range: Outside Texas  Nova Scotia south to Florida and west to central Texas Habitat: bark and branches of broad-leaf and coniferous trees

Peripsocus madidus male. Peripsocus madidus female.

The barchypterous form of this species is shown to the left. I do not find this form in central Texas but did record them from Austin Co.

Peripsocus madidus brachypeterous.

Peripsocus subfasciatus (Rambur) 1842

Peripsocus subfasciatus map.Size: ~ 2.7 mm  Range:  Outside Texas - eastern U.S., west to Minnesota and Arkansas, Pacific Coast from San Francisco Bay to British Columbia. Habitat: branches of broadleaf and coniferous trees and shaded stone outcrops. Male virtually absent except in Washington state and Vancouver, British Columbia
Peripsocus subfasciatus.

Peripsocus minimus Mockford 1971Peripsocus minimus map.

Size: ~ 2.0 mm  Range:  Outside Texas- southern Illinois southwestward to Missoiri, Arkansas and central Texas  Habitat: foliage of Juniperus virginiana and Juniperus ashei

Peripsocus minimus male. Peripsocus minimus female.

Peripsocus sp.

Peripsocus sp. mystery map.

  Size: male: ~ 2.2 mm, female ~ 1.5 mm Range:  Habitat: Lichen covered branches of Quercus virginiana and Texas persimmon (Diospyros texana)  This is an un-described species in which the female is micropterous.

Peripsocus close to stagnivagus male. Peripsocus sp female.


Trichopsocus dalii (McLachlan) 1867

Trichopsocus dalii map.Size: ~ 2.8 mm  Range: outside Texas- this introduced species is found in states on the Gulf and Atlantic coast of the U.S. and in the Atlantic and Mediteranean coast of Europe and North Africa  Habitat:  branches of braod leaf  trees like citrus, bay, Ligustrum and Ilex.
richopsocus dalii male.
Trichopsocus dalii female.


Archipsocus sp.

Archipsocus specimens are found along the Gulf coast from Florida to Texas and in Mexico. They can occur in Texas as far inland as Travis Co. I have not yet identified this species. These specimens were found at Palmetto State Park. There are three described species which  might occur on the Texas coast: Archipsocus floridanus, A. gurneyi and A. nomas. The webbing from these psocids often covers entire tree trunks and causes a media sensation. 

Archipsocus sp.


Pseudocaecilius citricola (Ashmead 1879)

map Pseudocaecilius citricola.Size: 2.8 mm  Range: Outside Texas, occurs throughout Florida, on the Alabama coast, pan-tropical; is even recorded on the Galapagos Islands  Habitat: living leaves of citrus, evergreen oaks, palms and other trees. Known from female only.

Pseudocaecilius citricola female.


Aaroniella sp.

Aaroniella sp. map. Size: 2.2 mm This un-described species is found at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Habitat: small dead branches of live oak in a heavily wooded area.

Aaroniella sp. male.
Aaroniella sp. female.

Infraorder Psocetae


Hemipsocus chloroticus (Hagen) 1858

Hemipsocus chloroticus map.Size: ~ 3 mm. Range outside Texas: Non native. Found South Carolina to Florida along coastal plain to Texas; Oregon as an introduction from Japan. Native to Southeast Asia and many Pacific Islands. Habitat: Forest leaf litter. I have not collected this one in Texas but I expect I soon will if I search along the Texas coast.
      Image by Jon Hart

Hemipsocus chloroticus male.
                    awaiting image of female                            




Subfamily Amphigerontiinae

Amphigerontia montivaga (Chapman) 1930

Amphigerontia montivaga map. Size: ~ 4.7 mm Range: outside Texas- New York south to Florida and west to Wisconsin and south Texas  Habitat: branches of broad-leaf and evergreen trees
Amphigerontia montivaga male.
Amphigerontia montivaga female.

Blaste garciorum Mockford 1984

Blaste garciorum map.Size: ~ 3.5 mm Range outside Texas- south to Mexico and Honduras  Habitat: branches of small trees and shrubs in arid woodlands
Blaste garciorum male.
Blaste garciorum female.

Blaste persimilis (Banks) 1908

Blaste persimilis map Size: 3.5 mm. Range: Gulf Coast from Alabama to Brownsville, Texas then north to Refurio. Habitat: branches of oaks and dead vines. Known only from the male. My quest is to find them female!

Blaste persimilis male

Blaste posticata (Banks) 1905

Blaste posticata map.Size: ~ 3.8 mm  Range outside Texas- south to Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala  Habitat: broad-leaf trees, shrubs and pine
Blaste posticata male.
Blaste posticata female.

Blaste quieta (Hagen) 1861

Blaste quieta map. Size: ~ 4.5 mm  Range outside Texas- Montreal to Florida and west to South Dakota and Texas; outlier populations in Idaho and British Columbia  Habitat: branches of broad-leaf and coniferous trees
Blaste quieta male.
Blaste quieta female.

Blastopsocus lithinus (Chapman) 1930

Blastopsocus lithinus map. Size: ~ 3.7 mm  Range outside Texas- Montreal south to Floida - west to Minnesota to Texas  Habitat: branches of broad-leaf and coniferus trees

                             Awaiting image of male                             
Blastopsocus lithinus female.

Blastopsocus walshi Mockford 2002

Blastopsocus walshi map.Size: ~ 3.3 mm Range outside Texas-  Illinois south to Florida  Habitat: branches of broad-leaf trees
Blastopsocus walshi male.
Blastopsocus walshi female.

 Subfamily Psocinae

Tribe Cerastipsocini


Cerastipsocus venosus (Burmeister)  1839

Cerastipsocus venosus map.Size: ~ 6 mm  Range outside Texas - Maine south to southern Florida; south to Mexico. Habitat: Trunks and brances of broad leaf trees and conifers. Most males have the pterostigma white as in the female shown here. Images by Robert Zimlich.
Cerastipsocus venosus male.
Cerastipsocus venosus female.

Cerastipsocus trifasciatus (Provancher) 1876

Tribe Metylophorini

Metylophorus novaescotiae (Walker) 1853

Metylophorus nov. map. Size: 6-7 mm   Range outside Texas: Nova Scotia and coastal Maine to Florida, west to Minnesota. Habitat: Branches of broad-leaf trees and shrubs. Also occurs in Mexico.

Images by Tom Murray


Tribe Psocini

Hyalopsocus sp. close to floridanus

Hyalopsocus #1 map.Size: male  ~5.4 mm, female ~5.6 mm Range:   Habitat: Wide variety of braodleaf and coniferous trees; usually on dead branches encrusted with lichen.
Hyalopsocus sp. male. Hyalopsocus sp female.

Hyalopsocus striatus (Walker) 1853

Hyaopsocus #2 map.Size:  5.3 mm  Range outside Texas: Throughout northeastern U.S.  and southeast Canada. Occurs spottily in western states.    Habitat: Juniperous ashei  This species is characterized by the extensive pigment in cells Cu2 and IA in the forewing.

Hyalopsocus sp. # 2 male Hyalopsocus sp. #2 female

Psocus leidyi Aaron 1886

Psocus leidyi map. Size: ~ 5.4 mm   Range: Maine to Minnesota, south to Florida and southwest to Arkansas with an outlier population in northern California. Habitat: Broadleaf trees, Mesquite, Hackberry, live oak
Psocus leidyi male. Psocus leidyi female.

Tribe Ptyctini

Indiopsocus bisignatus (Banks) 1904

Indiopsocus bisignatus map. Size: ~ 3.9 mm  Range Outside Texas -eastern U.S. from northern Minnesota south to west Florida, west of the Mississippi it occurs spotily to Wyoming, Colorado and Texas; also occurs in Mexico  Habitat: trunks and branches of braod-leaf and conifer trees
Indiopsocus bisignatus male.
Indiopsocus bisignatus female

Indiopsocus infumatus (Banks) 1907

Indiopsocus infumatus map. Size: ~ 3.6 mm  Range Outside Texas - Oklahoma, New York, south to Kentucky; central Texas is probably at the western end of the range for this species   Habitat: dead branches of broad-leaf trees; my specimens on live oak and ashe juniper
Indiopsocus infumatus male.
Indipsocus infumatus female.

Indiopsocus sp. # 1

Indiopsocus lanceolatus map.Size: ~3.6 mm Range: Outside Texas: Gulf Coast, AL, GA, FL, VA. Habitat: broad leaf trees like Quercus virginiana. This un-described species is currently under study

Indiopsocus lanceolatus male.
Indiopsocus lanceolatus female.

Indiopsocus sp. #41

Indiopsocus luridus map.Size: ~ 3.9 mm  Range: endemic to Texas Hill Country. Habitat: lower bare limbs of living Juniperus ashei. This un-described species is currently under study.

Indiopsocus luridus male.
Indiopsocus luridus female.

Indiopsocus sp. "C"

Indiopsocus vannifer map.Size: ~ 3.8 mm  Range outside Texas: Records from Alabama. Habitat: braodleaf trees like Quercus virginiana, Celtis reticulata Ulmus crassifolia and Acacia farnesiana. This un-described species  is currently under study.

Indiopsocus vannifer male.
Indiopsocus vannifer female.

Indiopsocus texanus (Aaron)  1886

range map indiopsocus texanus.Size: 3.9 mm Range outside Texas: Throughout Florida up the Atlantic coast to Virginia; Gulf Coast.  Habitat: broadleaf trees including live oak

Indiopsocus texanus male
Indiopsocus texanus female.

Loensia moesta (Hagen) 1861

Loensia moesta map.Size: ~ 4.2 mm  Range Outside Texas- Minnesota south to Florida west to Texas  Habitat: wide variety of broad-leaf and coniferous trees
Loensia moesta male.
Loensia moesta female.

Loensia sp. "Beauty Queen"

Loensia beauty queen map.Size: ~ 4.3 mm  Range outside Texas- unknown  Habitat: lichen covered branches of live oak, Mesquite, Ashe juniper and cedar elm  In my humble opinion, this un-described species is a beautiful psocid! Don't you agree?
Loensia beauty queen male.
Loensia beauty queen female.

Ptycta polluta (Walsh) 1862

Ptycta polluta map.Size: ~ 3.4 mm  Range:  outside Texas- Nova Scotia south to Florida, west to Minnesota   Habitat: branches of braod-leaf and coniferous trees
Ptycta polluta male.
Ptycta polluta female.

Trichadenotecnum slossonae (Banks) 1903

Trichadenotecnum slossonae map.Size: ~ 3.2 mm Range: outside Texas- eastern U.S. west to Minnesta and central Texas  Habitat: branches of broad-leaf and coniferous trees
Trichadenotecnum slossonae male.
Trichadenotecnum slossonae female.


Lichenomima sparsa  (Hagen)  1861

Lichenomima sparsamap.Size: male 4.7 mm female 5.9 mm  Range: Outside Texas - Washington D.C. south to Florida, west to Indiana, Arkansas. Inhabits shaded stone outcrops and tree trunks. Dr. Mockford has expressed the need for this genus to be revised.
    Lichenomima sparsa male
Lichenomima sparsa female.

Lichenomima sp. "W"

Lichenomima sp. W  map.
Size: female 4.8 mm  Range: Outside Texas- unknown. Found on Quercus vrginiana at Welder Wildlife Refuge.

Awaiting image of male
Lichenomima sp. W female.

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