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Human Louse

Scientific Name
Pediculus sp.
Scientific Author
Taxonomy
(Phthiraptera: Pediculidae)
Pest Status
0 Unknown
Status
NZ - Native
Reliability
High
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Diagnostic Images

Dorsal - Adult
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Caption
Pediculus humanus capitis, the human head louse (Ref. No.: PANZ-PTH1).
Source
Justin C. Smith MAF
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Diagnostic Images (5)
Other Images (5)
Diagnostic Notes
Adult

Slender, no more than 3 mm long. Female: thoracic segments fused together; abdomen terminates in 2 large posterior lobes; legs short, each ends in a disproportionately large claw, adapted in size and shape for clinging onto hair or fibres. Male: slightly smaller, with transverse bands on dorsum of abdomen; posterior end of abdomen rounded; ventral surface curving upwards so as to bring anus and sexual orifice to upper surface; Fore leg broad and bearing a large tibial thumb and tarsal claw.

Larva

Medium lice, often translucent; larva I 0.90-1.30 mm long; larva II 1.35-1.58 mm long; larva III 2.00-2.70 mm long. Head relatively short, abruptly constricted posteriorly into a short neck, with eyes externally represented by a pair of distinct lenses and pigmentation on the lateral lobes; antennae 5-segmented, terminal segments often fused. Thorax with well-developed phragmata and notal pit; no sternal plate; mesothoracic spiracles distinct. All legs subequal in shape and size and each with a long acuminate claw; tibial thumbs developed. Abdomen membranous, with lateral margins more or less lobed and 6 pairs of spiracles; segmental setae distinct, arranged in transverse fields.

References

- Furman, D.P. (1961). Manual of Medical Entomology. The National Press, California, 122 pp.

- Ibarra, J. (1993). Lice (Anoplura). In: Lane, R.P. & Crosskey, R.W. (eds.), Medical Insects and Arachnids. Chapman & Hall, London, pp. 517-528.

- Stehr, F.W. (1997). Immature Insects. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Iowa, 754 pp.
More Information
Specimen Contact
MAF Plant Health & Environment Laboratory
Author
MAF Plant Health & Environment Laboratory
Created
14/07/2011 07:39 AEST
Last Updated
16/04/2014 22:22 AEST
Citation
MAF Plant Health & Environment Laboratory (2011) Human Louse (Pediculus sp.) Updated on 4/16/2014 10:22:15 PM Available online: PaDIL - http://www.padil.gov.au.
Image Use
Free for use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License

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