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The parasitic lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) from the New Zealand Subregion are all listed and annotated with data from both literature records and collections. The current scientific name, its taxonomic history, data on type material, type host, other hosts, geographic distribution within New Zealand and elsewhere, New Zealand literature references and other significant references are given for each species or subspecies. The louse fauna comprises 424 species/subspecies distributed in 101 genera, 14 families and three suborders. Among them, 381 species/subspecies (90%) are from birds, of which 58 taxa are introduced by human agency, and 43 species (10%) are from mammals, of which 37 have been introduced by humans. The total number of species/subspecies includes 22 new records of louse taxa for this country. Six species/subspecies deleted from the New Zealand louse fauna are listed and discussed. A host-parasite list of all the hosts known to harbour lice in the New Zealand Subregion, including 18 new host-louse associations, and a list of bird species which breed in the Subregion but with no lice collected from them yet, are given. Citations to literature references for every publication known to include a record or a mention of a louse from the New Zealand Subregion, and other significant publications dealing with various aspects of louse taxonomy, biology, ecology, phylogeny and evolution are also given.
The New Zealand louse fauna is characterised by (1) low endemicity, with only 11% at species level and 2% at generic level, (2) a high proportion (22.5%) of species introduced by human agency, (3) a very low number of species from native mammals (six or 1.8% of the total fauna), and (4) a greater number of species from seabirds and shorebirds (213 or 56%) than from terrestrial birds (168 or 44%).