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:

 A Nightmare on MicStreet IV


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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