Human head louse on a hair, SEM

Human head louse on a hair, SEM

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Caption: Head louse. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a blood-sucking human head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis, amongst hair. The louse's three pairs of legs are directly behind its head, which is at upper right. This parasite is 2-3.5 millimetres long & inhabits the hair of the head. Each head louse female lays 80-100 eggs and the life cycle from egg to adult is only three weeks. Lice bites create itchy spots which are 1-2 centimetres across; scratching these spots can lead to skin inflammation (dermatitis) & bacterial skin infections (impetigo). The head louse is closely related to the human body louse, P. humanus humanus. Magnification x30 at 6x6cm size.

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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, scanning electron micrograph, wildlife, zoology

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