Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps

Order POROCEPHALIDA Heymons, 1935


Porocephalida is the larger of the two pentastomid orders with seven families and more than 16 genera, according to whose taxonomy is followed.

Fain (1961: 24, 35) divided the order into two suborders, ‘Sous-Ordre des Porocephaloidea Sub.-ord. nov.’ and ‘Sous-Ordre des Lingualatoidea Sub.-ord. nov.’, taxa with the superfamily suffix –oidea. These taxa were recognised as superfamilies by Self (1969) and Almeida & Christoffersen (1999). These authors are followed here and, according to the ICZN, authorship follows those of the nominal families, not Fain (1961) as commonly stated.



Mouth distinctly subterminal, situated between inner hook pair. Hooks disposed in straight line or arc. Size differences between hooks not pronounced.’ Hooks complex, sometimes with accessory spines, more or less completely retractable into grooves. Hooks articulating directly onto a boat- or gutter-shaped fulcrum. Pointed, or rounded, and/or flattened. Cephalothorax contains compact glandular mass with four efferent ducts leading to hook pits. Intestine flanked by compact glandular masses with paired ducts leading to frontal papillae. Cuticular spines often present on posterior edge of abdominal segments. Uterus elongate and tubular, tightly coiled in haemocoel, vagina opens towards caudal extremity, either in a common pit with the anus or separated from it by one or more annuli. Male genitalia with cirrus threads long and coiled, within paired cirrus pouches. Cirrus tip thickened, ornamented and free. Cirrus base passes through a copulatory spicule which is not club-shaped. Seminal vesicle Y-shaped, encircling intestine. Eggs with three layers, mucous envelope around inner egg shell. Primary larva with double hooks in a Y-shaped fulcrum. Penetration apparatus consists of a simple median stylet, flanked by a pair of bifid accessory spines. Early nymphal hooks doubled barbs lying one on top of the other. Ganglia fused into a compact suboesophageal mass. (from Riley 1986)


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
21-Mar-2012 31-Aug-2017 MODIFIED
28-Feb-2012 28-Feb-2012 MODIFIED
20-Oct-2011 20-Oct-2011 MODIFIED
31-Mar-2011 ADDED