False-colour SEM of a human head louse

False-colour SEM of a human head louse

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: False-colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a human head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis, clinging to a human hair. The head louse inhabits the hair of the head, glueing its eggs (called nits) to the shafts of individual hairs. The head louse is closely related to the body louse Pediculus humanus corporis; both subspecies are capable of interbreeding. Their main difference is in habitat, with body lice living in clothing, moving on to the skin to feed. Magnification: x22 at 6x4.5cm size.

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Keywords: animal, false-coloured, head louse, human, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, pediculosis, pediculus humanus capitis, sem, wildlife, zoology

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