Standard Article


  1. John Riley

Published Online: 19 APR 2001

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0001609



How to Cite

Riley, J. 2001. Pentastomida. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Dundee, Dundee, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 APR 2001


Pentastomids comprise an ancient taxon of about 110 species of vermiform endoparasites which attain maturity in the respiratory tracts of terrestrial tetrapods. About 85% of species inhabit the lungs of reptiles. Life cycles usually involve an intermediate host, although a few are direct. An unprecedented fossil record, dating from the late Cambrian, indicates a long association with vertebrates.


  • pentastomida;
  • life cycles;
  • lung parasites;
  • reptile hosts;
  • fossil parasites