At a moderate magnification of 309x, this 2006 scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicted an enlarged dorsal view of the right flexed foreleg of a female body louse, Pediculus humanus var. corporis. The entire leg is not quite visible, but what is visible includes the most distal segment, known as the 'pretarsus', followed by the more proximal 'tarsus', then the 'tibia', 'femur', and 'trochanter'. The final segment, of the six segments from which each leg is composed, the 'coxa', is visible under reduced magnification, in PHIL# 9242. In the case of the louse, the leg segments are very stout, and end in claws, which it used to firmly grasp clothing, or a host's hair shafts.
CDC/ Joseph Strycharz, Ph.D.; Kyong Sup Yoon, Ph.D.; Frank Collins, Ph.D.
December 3, 2012