Coloured SEM of pubic louse on pubic hair

Coloured SEM of pubic louse on pubic hair

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Credit: E. GRAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: False-colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the pubic louse, Phthirus pubis, also known as the crab louse, on pubic hair. An infestation of P. pubis causes pediculosis, the symptoms of which are severe itching & a rash. The lice suck blood, feeding 5 times a day. They spread through sexual contact & via bedding or clothing. Each of the louse's 6 legs terminates in a massive claw, which folds inward to meet a thumb-like projection on the opposite side. The louse climbs and swings through its hairy habitat, locking into position when it is disturbed, for instance by scratching or washing. Magnification: x25 at 6x4.5cm size.

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Keywords: animal, crab louse, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, louse, nature, phthirus pubis, pubic, pubic louse, wildlife, zoology

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