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.


We aim to make this a hybrid conference, with both in-person attendance in Guangzhou and online attendance elsewhere. The venue for the in-person parts will be the Institute of Zoology, Guangdong Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou. Two larger conference rooms are available, as well as numerous smaller conference rooms for e.g., roundtables or smaller discussions, if required. Online sessions will be hosted through Zoom or equivalent for talks, and through some online poster manager for posters (e.g., Booth). 

COVID-19 and travel to China

COVID-19 restrictions have now effectively ended in China, with compulsory mask-wearing in public transport one of the few remaining policies. Visas are issued to visitors to China in most countries, and more will likely start issuing visas in time for the conference.
However, flights to China are still limited, and prices are high. According to projections, normal airline services will be reinstated to pre-pandemic levels by the end of March, by which time the prices will hopefully also decrease. However, for people planning to attend in person, we want to note that flights to Hong Kong and Macau may be cheaper and more convenient. Travel from these places to Mainland China is easy by high-speed trains and takes about 1–1.5 hours. 

For citizens of most countries, a visa is needed to visit China. For our purposes, it seems an F type visa (non-commercial visit) is the most relevant, and we will provide signed and stamped invitation letters and other documentation necessary well in advance on request. In our experience, getting a visa to China is generally not a problem. Just let us know early what sort of documents you require, as this may also differ between countries. 
It should take only four days to receive a visa, but apply early; in some countries express applications are available for an additional fee.
The cost of an F type visa is around US$140, but it differs between countries, and for citizens of some countries it is apparently free. 
An F type visa is normally valid for 30 days only. If we end up arranging a post-conference tour, this should fit into the standard validity without problem, but if you wish to do further travel inside China in connection with the conference, you can apply for a longer-time stay in China using the same visa application. 
Note that visas to China are generally not issued at embassies or consulates, but at special Chinese Visa Application Centres, which may be in entirely different places, or even in different cities. Check with the Chinese embassy or consulate in your country before traveling to the wrong place unnecessarily.

There are several hotels of different standards and price classes around the Institute. Once we know how many people may attend in person, we will recommend specific hotels and, where necessary, arrange shuttle bus services to and from the Institute. For people who want to arrange other accommodation, there is a metro station just outside the Institute, and metro trains are cheap and leave about every 5 minutes (ticket machines and signs are all bilingual in Chinese and English throughout the metro system).


The date of the conference is 10–16th of June 2023. 
Time zones will be a problem, but as soon as we know how many people plan to attend in person, we will try to find a solution that minimizes the awkward times for everyone.
Note that July is warm and humid in Guangzhou. 


We presently estimate that all costs associated with the conference can be borne by the money left over from ICP6 and local funding. There will therefore be no registration fee. However, for people attending in person we may collect a fee for lunch and dinner after arrival, and hotel fees etc. will have to be paid by the attendees.


Registration can be done by email to kotatsu (at) fripost (dot) org. Please include:
- Name and affiliation (if any)
- Whether you intend to attend the conference in person or online
For people who intend to attend in person, please also include:
- Whether family members will be accompanying you (see below)
- Whether you are interested in participating in a post-conference tour or post-conference birdwatching tour (see below).
Abstract submission deadline is April 30th, 2023. 
Registration deadline for in-person attendants is May 31st, 2023. 
There is no deadline for registration for online attendants.

For people who plan to present a talk or a poster, please also include the Abstract in the format below:

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:


Conference topics
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.

About the venue

The Institute is situated on Haizhu Island in central Guangzhou. It is surrounded on most sides by the Sun Yat-Sen University but is not part of the university. The University grounds include a large park, which is one of the best bird-watching spots in Guangzhou, and just north of the University is the Pearl River, where thousands of people go in the evenings to sing, dance, play, and just relax. Within easy reach by metro are several larger parks (Yuexiu, Luhu, Haizhu, etc.), as well as both the old city centre with Shamian Island (the only place in China westerners were allowed during the 18th and 19th centuries), and the new city center with Zhujiang New Town and Canton Tower (the second tallest tower in the world) where the huge shopping malls are located. The extensive metro system can even take you up into the mountains north of the city for hiking!
You are never far from a few dozen restaurants in Guangzhou, and cuisine from all parts of China is available in most districts. This includes everything from the mouth-numbing food of Sichuan to the mild seafood of Guangdong, and all imaginable combinations of noodles, rice, fish, beef, duck, chicken, and all kinds of vegetables. We will try to vary the food accordingly, to give everyone a wide experience of Chinese food styles (except perhaps the most spicy parts). Vegetarian options are usually a standard part of the menu, but true vegan options are rare. Other than that, restaurants from other parts of the world are available at least in the city centre, with Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Turkish food being especially prominent, together with generic western food.

Social activities 

In Brno, we talked about having a daily social program for companions, and some kind of post-conference trip for those interested. We are still planning on arranging this, if there is enough interest. Some of the places we plan to include in the daily social program can be found here:
For the post-conference tour, we are hoping to arrange a trip to the Guilin area, Guangxi Province. 
Both the social activities and the post-conference tour depend on if there is enough interest.
Similarly, we are open to arranging a bird-watching tour to some other part of China (e.g., Yunnan, Hainan, etc.) after the conference, if there is interest.
Best wishes, and hope to see you all in 2023! 
Daniel Gustafsson and Fasheng Zou
Guangdong Institute of Zoology