Coloured SEM of a human head louse on a hair

Coloured SEM of a human head louse on a hair

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Credit: BSIP PIR/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Head louse. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a blood-sucking human head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis, on a hair. The louse's three pairs of legs are directly behind its head, which is at far right. The pale blue holes on each of the body segments are spiracles which supply the louse's tissues with oxygen. This parasite is found in the hair of the human head. The closely related body louse, Pediculus humanus corporis, inhabits clothing and is able to interbreed with head lice. Lice bites itch, encouraging scratching leading to skin inflammation (dermatitis), and sometimes even bacterial infection of the skin (impetigo). Magnification unknown.

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

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