The head louse

Fig 4. Head lice, male and female. (Grundy)

Fig 4. Head lice, male and female. (Grundy)

Head louse

Head louse

The head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis, is a small, flat and elongated insect. The adult females measure 2.4 to 3.3 mm in length. Lice in other stages of their life and the males are smaller. In the front, there is a small head with a mouth and two antennae and two simple eyes. The chest has six legs. Each leg ends in a claw that can grasp a hair. The hind parts are multiarticulate and relatively long. The skin is leathery and tough. Head lice live in scalp hair – not elsewhere. (Lice in beards, eyebrows and eyelashes on are almost always crabs.