Head louse penis, coloured SEM

Head louse penis, coloured SEM

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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 penis. Colured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a head louse penis (Pediculus humanus). The penis is normally hidden within the abdomen, but enlarges and protrudes during mating. The structure consists of a bulbous vesicle (partially visible in image) with pointed thin extensions known as the aedeagus (centre). During sexual reproduction, sperm is transported along the aedeagus. Head lice live in the hair of humans. Each female can lay up to 100 eggs (nits), which are glued to the bottom of hair shafts. An infestation of lice can cause itching due to allergic reaction to louse saliva. Magnification: x280 at 10cm wide.

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Keywords: abdomen, aedeagus, anatomical, anatomy, animal, biological, biology, coloured, entomology, false-coloured, fauna, genitalia, genitals, head louse, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, louse, male, nature, parasite, parasitic, pediculus humanus, penis, reproductive organ, reproductive structure, scanning electron micrograph, scanning electron microscope, sem, sex organ, sexual reproduction, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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