CLOUDS HILL IMAGING LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CLOUDS HILL IMAGING LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pubic louse. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of a pubic louse (Phthirus pubis) also known as the crab louse, clinging to a human hair. An infestation of pubic lice causes pediculosis, the symptoms of which are severe itching and a rash. The lice suck blood, feeding five times a day. They spread through sexual contact and through bedding and 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 and swings through its hairy habitat, locking into position when disturbed, for instance by scratching or washing. Magnification: x50 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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