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Human head lice (Pediculus humanus capitus) and body lice (Pediculus humanus humanus) are wingless, flattened insects with mouthparts for sucking blood. The head is somewhat narrower than the elongated body. Adults are small, about the size of a sesame seed (2.5-3.5 mm; 0.1 inch). Head and body lice are gray to tan in color, but a recent blood meal will be visible in the body and make them appear darker. Bloodsucking lice have a large claw at the end of each leg that fits snugly around a hair shaft, allowing them to cling securely to their host or the fibers of their clothing. Lice cannot fly or jump; they can only crawl.
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February 12, 2021