Head louse and egg, SEM

Head louse and egg, SEM

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Credit: THIERRY BERROD, MONA LISA PRODUCTION/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Head louse and egg. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a human head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis) and an egg attached to a strand of human hair. The louse ranges in size from 2 to 3 millimetres in length. Each of its six legs end in a claw. One segmented antenna protrudes from each side of the small head. Adult lice live for approximately 30 days, and during this time a female may lay 100 eggs (nits), which are glued to the bottom of hair shafts. An infestation of lice causes itching due to an allergic reaction to louse saliva. If not treated it can lead to fever and secondary infections. Treatment is by combing and insecticidal shampoos. Magnification unknown.

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Keywords: animal, antenna, antennae, claw, claws, coloured, disease causing, egg, hair, hairs, head, head louse, human, infection, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, leg, legs, lice, nature, nit, nits, parasite, parasitic, pediculus humanus capitis, scanning electron micrograph, sem, strand, thorax, underside, wildlife, zoology

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