Taxonomy: Order Phthiraptera (lice)
Animal: Pediculus humanus var. capitis 2 10.jpg
Pediculus humanus var. capitis (head louse)- hind end of female 3 mm. Measurements are vital for id of parasites. Ped. humanus var. capitis is not confined to the head but also occurs on the body cf. Ped. humanus var. corporis which only occurs on the body. The eggs of both are similar; var. capitis adults tend to be smaller (male 2mm, female 2.8-3mm), browner in colour and the antennae segments not so elongate. The body louse is an important vector of typhus fever, trench fever and louse -borne relapsing fever. Ticks, mites, fleas, lice and dipteran larvae should be fixed and stored in 70 percent alcohol. To examine: temporary mount - use drop lactophenol blue or chlorlactophenol, ring with nail polish or semi-permanent mount - use melted jelly and ring with nail polish or permanent mounts- immerse in Decon 90 over night, dehydrate clove oil, clear methyl salicylate and mount canada balsam.
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