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Pediculus Humanus Capitis, 400X
The head louse is an obligate ectoparasite of humans that causes head lice infestation ( pediculosis capitis). Head lice are wingless insects spending their entire life on the human scalp and feeding exclusively on human blood. Humans are the only known hosts of this specific parasite, while chimpanzees host a closely related species, Pediculus schaeffi. Other species of lice infest most orders of mammals and all orders of birds, as well as other parts of the human body. Lice differ from other hematophagic ectoparasites such as fleas in spending their entire life cycle on a host. Head lice cannot fly, and their short stumpy legs render them incapable of jumping, or even walking efficiently on flat surfaces.