At a moderate magnification of 381x, this 2006 scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicted an enlarged dorsal view of the mouth region of a male louse, Pediculus humanus var. corporis. In this particular view, the louse's 'haustellum' is withdrawn, or internalized inside the mouth region of the insect's cephalic region. The haustellum is a tube-like structure, fromed from what is believed to be a modification of the labium, but is armed with teeth, which act to grab, and hold on to the skin surface of its host while obtaining its blood meal. The insect pierces the host's skin with its sharply-pointed set of three stylets, which together for what is termed the fascicle. Note PHIL# 9214, 9216, in which case a lose is in its feeding mode on the skin surface of its host.
CDC/ Joseph Strycharz, Ph.D.; Kyong Sup Yoon, Ph.D.; Frank Collins, Ph.D.
November 2, 2012
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