Haematomyzus elephantis, the elephant louse, lives and feeds on the skin of Indian and African elephants.

However, as is shown on the distribution map, the louse is not recorded throughout the hosts’ range, and is less common on African elephants.

The elephant louse thrives in habitats suitable for elephants to survive. These are the warm climates of India and the African grasslands.

The lice are common on the more hairy regions, especially on juvenile elephants in folds of soft skin. They inhabit the ears, groin, axilla (armpits), or base of the tail.