Familia Polyctenidae Westwood, 1874

Family POLYCTENIDAE Westwood, 1874

I. M. Kerzhner

This is a small family (five genera, 32 species) of highly specialized bloodsucking ectoparasites of bats in tropical and partly subtropical areas over the world. Originally described as dipterans, they were subsequently placed in Heteroptera and currently considered as related to Cimicidae. Insemination traumatic, haemocoelial. They are viviparous, with only three larval stages.

References: Hagan, 1931 (embryology); Ferris & Usinger, 1939 (monograph); Maa, 1964 (Old World, review and key); Ryckman & Casdin, 1977 (bibliography and checklist); Ryckman & Sjogren, 1980 (catalogue); A.G. Marshall, 1982a, 1982b (biology); Kim & Adler, 1985 (hosts); Kerzhner, 1996c (Palaearctic catalogue)..