Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Louse

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LOUSE, the genus Pediculus. The sexes of lice are distinct. The female is oviparous, producing eggs, popularly called nits. The young are hatched in five or six days, and in 18 these are capable of reproduction. Three species are parasitic in certain circumstances on man. The body or clothes louse, Pediculus corporis or vestimentorum; the head or common louse, P. capitis; and the public or crab louse, P. pubis. The first species lives in the folds of the clothing in some elderly and uncleanly people. It has the abdomen three times as broad as the thorax.