Two lousy pictures by
Wim van Egmond
|Clinging to a human hair, Phtirius pubis, photographed with crossed polaroid filters.|
|Finding out you have
secret passengers on your body is not a pleasant
surprise. Some species are very well adapted to this life
and are very hard to get rid of. Phtirius pubis is such a
creature. It is a louse that lives on the human body but
not on the head. When you find a louse on your head it
must be Pediculus capitis. An epic account on that
creature can be found in the Micscape article:
the headlouse, Pediculus capitis
|When you compare the two
species portrayed on this page it is obvious that the
pubic louse looks quite different then the headlouse. It
has a more flattened body and looks a bit crablike. For
that they are called the crabs. As you can see on the
picture the legs are stretched very wide. This has a
special advantage. In the regions where this animal is
roaming the hairs are placed further apart.
How annoying these creatures may be, it is very intriguing how well they are adapted to their environment.
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