DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A pubic louse, Phthirus pubis, also known as the crab louse, clinging to human pubic hair. An infestation of P. pubis causes pediculosis, the symptoms of which are severe itching & a rash. The lice suck blood, feeding around five times a day. They spread through sexual contact & via bedding or clothing. Each of the louse's six legs terminates in a massive claw, which folds inward to meet a thumb-like projection on the opposite side. The louse climbs & swings through its hairy habitat, locking into position when disturbed, for instance by scratching or washing.
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