Head Louse?

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Head Louse?

Hi Guys,

Can I include Head Louse on my list, and if so which family will it come under?


Ben Mapp (aged 12, Ranked 98)

Head lice

Hi Ben

Great to see the range of different groups that you are recording, keep up the good work. Yes, you certainly can count the Head Louse Pediculus humanus. I have also struggled to work out where this should be placed in the PSL lists but I think it should go in Insects: remaining small orders.

I think I noticed recently that you had added Scorpion Fly to your list. There are actually three species of Scorpion Fly, two of which are very common, so you'll need to find another and work out which one you've got. The males (which have the curled up scorpion-like tail) are very much easier to identify than females.

Best wishes

Tony Davis



Head Louse

Hi Tony,

Thanks for helping me for the Head Louse dilemma!! Also, I have identified the Scorpion Fly as Panorpa communis, if that sounds right!.
Also I really admire your work, and my ultimate goal is to get to 1,000 species by the end of next year. For you to see over 5000 taxa is unbelievable!

Thanks again,
Best Wishes,
Ben :-)


Hi Ben

Looks like you're way ahead of me! I'm sure that your Panorpa is correct if you looked at the male clasper shape - they are quite distinctive.

The way you're going I'm sure you'll reach 1000 by the end of the year. 5000 may seem like a dream to you at the moment but you'll get there in time. Graeme Lyons drew attention to your efforts on the PSL Facebook group and commented that if you keep going you'll overtake Jonty one day! Don't chase the ticks too much though, it's all about becoming a better naturalist - the ticks will come. I keep a PSL year list. I don't have any targets in mind for the year list but it encourages me to keep looking at things that I've seen before so that the identification features stick in my head.

If you're at the Bird Fair, do call in to the Butterfly Conservation stand and say hello, I'll be there every day.

Keep up the great work.


Hi Ben

Hi Ben

Just to repeat what Tony said! I wish I had started PSL when I was your age (I have records that go back to when I was 11 but I wasn't focused on the smaller species back then). If you keep going with it you will fly through it! I reckon you will get to a 1000 in no time! One way might be to target habitats that you haven't spend a lot of time in?


Good luck!