What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

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With their lack of eyes and ocelli and their annulated tibia these distinctive bugs are unlikely to be confused with any other family of Heteroptera, though they bear a superficial resemblance to fleas.

All Polyctenidae are permanent ectoparasites (ie. living on the outside) of bats of the suborder Microchiroptera. They share traumatic insemination in common with the Cimicidae and Anthocoridae.

They are rarely collected, though they have been reported as common on one Malaysian bat host.


Only 2 species of Polyctenidae are found in Australia. Adroctenes magnus is recorded from the host Hipposiderosdiadema reginae and Eoctenes intermedius is recorded from a number of bat species from the genus Taphozous . Both species are restricted to north Queensland.

  • Polyctenidae; Adroctenes magnus, female