Saturday, November 28, 2015

Answer to Case 374

Answer: Pthirus pubis ('crab' lice)

As noted by Arthur, "two females are apparent by the presence of a bifurcate posterior, whereas the male has a rounded posterior."

Note that the claws on first pair of legs are slender, compared to the larger claws on the 2nd and 3rd pairs of legs.
To answer MicrOlivier Biologist's question about this species being endangered due to modern practices of pubic hair removal, I have to say to say that it still seems to turn up with some regularity in the routine clinical microbiology lab, so clearly there are a population of 'adequately' hairy individuals out there!

Thanks again to Florida Fan for donating this case, and also to all of my readers for their excellent comments and questions.

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