The 7th International Conference on Phthiraptera (ICP7)

Welcome to the 7th International Conference on Phthiraptera, Guangzhou, 2023!

We would like to welcome all louse researchers from across the world to the 7th International Conference on Phthiraptera, to be hosted by the Institute of Zoology, Guangdong Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, to be held 10–16th of July 2023. The principal hosts will be Prof. Fasheng Zou, and Drs Daniel Gustafsson and Alexandra Grossi.


The conference will be hosted online from the Institute’s own online conference rooms in Guangzhou. 

However, we have suggested to the council that regional meetings of smaller groups of people may be arranged, to simplify time zone problems and make connections less difficult. Moreover, such small meetings would give some opportunity for people to meet up and discuss lice together in person. No specific regional meetings are planned yet, but if you are interested in hosting one, please contact us!

Online sessions will be hosted through Zoom or an equivalent for talks, and through some online poster manager for posters (e.g., Booth). More details on this will come when we get closer to the conference date. We will gladly receive recommendations about platforms that have been particularly well or ill suited for conferences from any potential participant.

COVID-19 and travel to China

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, traveling to China for the conference will be unfeasible for most people. The strict zero COVID-19 policy here could cause extra unexpected problems. However, policies are changing rapidly, and it is possible that by July 2023, some people could come here in person. If so, we will gladly help any people who want to visit China personally with paperwork needed, accommodation, other activities (including travel within China before or after the conference as far as possible) and so on. We cannot now provide any information on lodgings or anything, and this would have to be arranged at an ad hoc basis next year.


The date of the conference is 10–16th July 2023. Due to the large time zone differences involved, we will preliminarily be working on the following schedule:

China time: 9 PM – 2 AM
Central European Time: 3 PM – 8 PM
Eastern US time: 9 AM – 2 PM
Pacific American time: 6 AM – 11 AM

Note that these preliminary schedules allow for five hours of talks etc. per day, divided into several sessions with short breaks in between. This may be modified depending on the number of submitted talks. Poster presentations, ISoP Assembly, Roundtables, and other activities will also be fitted into this schedule.


We presently estimate that all costs associated with the conference as planned can be borne by the money left over from ICP6. 


A registration function will be added here during the fall of 2022, and the community will be updated when that is in place.

Conference topics and abstract submission

Abstracts can be sent to Daniel Gustafsson at any time before the end of April 2023; the email to use is kotatsu at fripost dot org. Please submit your abstracts as word documents, using the following format:


All abstracts concerning all aspects of research on Phthiraptera will be considered, and we will try to accommodate as many talks as possible. For poster presentations, there is no upper limit to how many we can accommodate. This year, we would especially want to invite contributions on four topics:

    1.Parasite conservation
    2.Lice of Africa and Asia
    3.Biogeography and host association patterns of lice
    4.Symbionts and microorganisms associated with lice

If your submitted abstract falls under any of these topics, please indicate this at the top of your abstract. 

Abstracts are also welcomed on the following topics (list is not exhaustive):

    1.Epidemiology of human lice
    2.Control of human lice
    3.Effect of COVID-19 policy on human head lice
    4.Lice of domestic animals and their control
    5.Host-switching and co-speciation in lice
    6.Taxonomy and classification of lice
    7.Phylogenetics of lice
    8.Population genetics of lice
    9.Ecology of lice
    10.Techniques for collecting, preparing or studying lice
    12.Community structure of lice
    13.History of the study of Phthiraptera

Suggestions for e.g., roundtable discussion topics are also accepted, together with suggestions for chairs of such discussions. 

Conference proceedings

For ICP7, we are discussing a collaboration with the journal Diversity (IF: 3.029) to produce a special conference proceedings issue in their journal, preliminarily entitled “Recent Advances in Taxonomy, Morphology and Evolution of Lice”. All participants who contribute either a talk or a poster to the conference are encouraged to rework their research on that topic into a manuscript for this special issue. This special issue will cover several, but not all, conference topics, including:

  • Taxonomy, systematics and classification of Phthiraptera
  • Phylogenetic and co-phylogenetic analysis of lice
  • Population genetics of lice
  • Community structure of lice
  • Analysis of host association patterns
  • Biogeography of lice
  • Global change effects on biodiversity of lice
  • The effect of environmental factors on evolution, host associations, prevalence, abundance etc. of lice
  • The effect of host biology and ecology on evolution, host associations, prevalence, abundance etc. of lice
  • Evolution of lice
  • Morphology of lice (including e.g., functional morphology, systematic morphology, etc.)
  • Host switching in lice
  • Conservation of lice, including management of hosts with reference to preserving endangered lice
  • Other suitable topics
  • Review articles on these or any other related topics.

Manuscripts may also include other parasites, as long as lice are the main part of the manuscript.

Article processing charges

The journal Diversity charges a fee of 1900 CHF per manuscript, but this may be discounted or waived for authors from low- and middle-income countries on a case-by-case basis. Possibly Diversity is willing to give a 20% discount on invited manuscripts.

Editors and submission

The main guest editors of this issue will be Daniel Gustafsson, but additional guest editors will be approached once more details about this issue have been worked out with the journal.

Note that Diversity does not have an upper- or lower-page limit. Shorter contributions that are centered around a single photograph or a set of photographs can be submitted as an Interesting Image, which has special rules detailed on the journal homepage. 

Diversity operates under a Free Format submission system, meaning that submissions may be in any format, if it is internally consistent. However, upon acceptance the manuscript will need to be edited to conform to journal style, instructions for which can be found here:

Note that manuscripts in which there is no detailed information on how specimens of lice were identified, or contributions in which this information is obviously erroneous (e.g., references to sources that do not include keys or other identification material) will be sent back for correction to include this material before processing. Please include this information before submission.

Submission of manuscripts is done on the Diversity journal homepage.

The deadline for submission will be some months after the end of the conference but is not set yet.

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