Pediculus capitis head lice Pediculus humanus body lice and Phthirus pubis crab lice

Eggs (nits) are oval and measure 0.8 mm by 0.3 mm. They are laid by the female louse who glues single eggs with a drying cement at the base of the hair-shaft nearest the scalp or onto cloth fibre. Larvae (or nymphs) have the same morphology as the adults; they differ only by their smaller size. Adults are small

Figure 1.13 Adult head lice.

(3 mm in length), apterous (wingless), with the body flattened dorso-ventrally (see Figure 1.13). The thorax carries three pairs of strong and bulky legs ending in a big claw which represents a powerful grip. Adult crab lice are smaller (1.5 to 2 mm in length), they have a broad thorax and legs with enormous claws and grips.

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