©Michael Patrick Corriss 

Domain: Eukarya

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Phthiraptera

Suborder: Anuplura

Family: Pthiridae

Genus: Phthirus


Phthirus pubis is of the Eukarya domain, as its cells have membrane bound organelles. It belongs to the kingdom Animalia, also called Metazoa, because it exhibits key traits of the Kingdom, such as multicellularity and heterotrophic feeding strategies. Phthirus pubis is in the Phylum Arthropoda. This phylum is composed of a very diverse taxa, ranging from insects to crustaceans. All in this phylum are protostomes, which means that the embryos develop mouth-first; they are also bilaterally symmetrical, showing a segmented body form, with an exoskeleton made of chitin. This animal belongs to the Class Insecta, showing a key trait of the class: three compound legs. Phthirus pubis exhibits traits of the Order Phthiraptera, including parasitism and lacking wings. The organism also belongs to the Suborder Anoplura, which are wingless insects with three compound legs ending with a claw-like apparatus for grasping and attachment. Phthirus pubis is in the Family Pthiridae, which is composed of insects with a much shorter and more narrow head than the thorax, and distinct eyes. The Genus Phthirus is that of pubic lice, such as Phthirus pubis.


The word phthirus is Latin and means "consumption"; pubis translates from Latin to mean "adulthood."


This species of animals is commonly called "Crab Louse." It has been deemed such because the large pinchers on the legs resemble those of a common crab.


For more information on the classification of this organism, please see the Encyclopedia of Life.


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