Glossary of Terms

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Select the first letter of the word from the list above to jump to appropriate section of the glossary. If the term you are looking for starts with a digit or symbol, choose the '#' link.

- A -

allergic reaction
a hypersensitive response to insect proteins.

a hypersensitive response to insect proteins.

Anoplura (anopl = unarmed; ura = tail)
the sucking lice, containing the human head and body lice.

species that usually feed on humans. "human loving".

arthropod (arthro = joint; pod = foot)
the animal phylum containing the horshoe crabs, spiders, crustaceans, millipedes, centipedes, and insects.

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- B -

straight, rod-shaped bacteria.

biological transmission
the transfer of a pathogen to a susceptible host by a vector, with the pathogen undergoing reproduction, developmental changes, or both in the vector.

a temporary encampment.

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- D -

delusory parasitosis
human fear of bodily infestation with insects when no infestation exists.


a disease of the skin. Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin. Both dermatitis and dermatosis can be caused by arthropod activity, such as by scabies mites and chiggers.

Diptera (di = two; ptera = wings)
the flies, gnats, midges, and mosquitoes.

stress condition produced by the effects of a pathogen on a susceptible host.

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- E -

an external parasite.

an organism that is native to a region or population.

an internal parasite.

an irrational fear of insects.

the introduction of a poison into the body of humans and animals.

a disease outbreak in a specific time and location.

the study of the incidence, distribution, and control of disease in populations.

the study of the cause or causes of a disease.

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- F -

facultative parasite
a parasite that does not live exclusively on a given host species.

a division of classification including a number of genera agreeing in one or a set of characters and so closely related that they apparently are descended from one stem (definition by Smith).

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- G -

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- H -

Hemiptera (hemi = half; ptera = wings)
the true bugs, including the conenose bugs (which transmit Chagas' disease) and the bed bugs.

Hexapoda (hexa = six; poda = foot)
another term for the class of animals that includes the insects.

Hymenoptera (hymen = membrane; ptera = wings)
the ants, bees, sawflies, and wasps.

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- I -

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- J -

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- K -

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- L -

Lepidoptera (lepido = scale; ptera = wings)
the butterflies and moths.

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- M -

Mallphaga (mallo = wool; phaga = eat)
the chewing lice.

mechanical transmission
the transfer of a pathogen from an infectious source to a susceptible host by a vector without any reproduction or developmental changes in the pathogen.

the changes an insect goes through as it passes from the egg through the adult stage. Complete metamorphosis is development from egg to larva to pupa to adult. Gradual metamorphosis is development from egg to nymph to adult.

the invasion and feeding on living tissues of humans or animals by dipterous (fly) larvae.

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- N -

the naming of biological units, such as species.

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- O -

obligate parasite
a parasite that can only live on a given host species.

Orthoptera (ortho = straight; ptera = wings)
the cockroaches, crickets, grasshoppers, katydids, mantids, and walking sticks.

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- P -

disease outbreak impacting a large geographical area and a large portion of the population.

organisms that live on or in a different species.

organisms that produce disease.

study of the nature of disease, especially how a pathogen produces disease by altering host physiology.


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- Q -

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- R -

an organism that maintains the infective agent when active transmission does not occur.

the ability of the host to prevent infection and disease.

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- S -

Siphonaptera (siphon = tube; aptera = wingless)
the fleas.

a group of interbreeding organisms that can produce offspring with the capacity for viable reproduction.

animals that live in close association with humans.

the study of the kinds and diversity of organisms and the relationships among them.

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- T -

the theoretical basis for classifying organisms.


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- U -

urticating hairs
hairs produced by insects or other arthropods that produces itching. These hairs (or setae) are found on many species of Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth caterpillars) and spiders.

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- V -

arthropods capable of transmitting pathogens.

vesicating fluids
poisons that are excreted or expelled from the organism.

the ability of the pathogen to produce disease.

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- W -

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- X -

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- Y -

yellow fever

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- Z -

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- # -

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