Coloured SEM of human head louse on a hair

Coloured SEM of human head louse on a hair

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Credit: BSIP VEM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Head louse. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph of a blood-sucking human head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis, attached to a human hair. The pale holes on each segment of its body are spiracles through which oxygen reaches the insect's tissues. This parasite is found in the hair of the human head. The female glues between 80-100 eggs to the hair in her lifetime. Development to maturity is rapid, with new generations arising every 3 weeks. The body louse, Pediculus humanus humanus, inhabits clothing and is able to interbreed with head lice. Infestations of these lice cause pediculosis, an intense itching that may progress to bacterial infection.

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

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