SEM of a human head louse on hair shafts

SEM of a human head louse on hair shafts

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This image is part of the feature Battle Of The Insect Sexes

Credit: POWER AND SYRED/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Head louse. Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a human head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis) clinging to human hair. The head louse inhabits the hair of the head, glueing its eggs (called nits) to the shafts of individual hairs. It lives on blood, which it sucks from the scalp. The wounds left by the lice cause intense itching, which can lead to dermatitis and impetigo (a bacterial infection of the skin). The problems are compounded by reflex scratching of the bites. The lice can spread from head to head by close contact. Nits and lice can be killed by washing the hair with special medicated shampoos. Magnification: x44 at 6x7cm size. x106 at 7x5.5"

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

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