This 2006 photograph depicted a magnified ventral view of a male body louse, Pediculus humanus var. corporis, focusing on the insects cephalic and thoracic regions. Its counterpart, the dorsal view may be seen in PHIL# 9217. Some of the external morphologic features displayed by members of the genus Pediculus include an elongated abdominal region without any processes, and three pairs of legs, all equal in length and width. The distal tip of the male's abdomen is rounded, whereas, the female's (PHIL# 9202) is concave.Body lice are parasitic insects that live on the body, and in the clothing or bedding of infested humans. Infestation is common, found worldwide, and affects people of all races. The dark mass inside the abdomen is a previously ingested blood meal, obtained by the louse when the photographer offered his arm to the insect on which it fed.
CDC/ Frank Collins, Ph.D.
November 2, 2012
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