What are the features of pthirus pubis (crabs) in pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Updated: Aug 16, 2019
  • Author: Lyn C C Guenther, MD, FRCPC, FAAD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

The pubic louse gets the nickname of "crab" from its short, broad body (0.8-1.2 mm) and large front claws, which give it a crab-like appearance. The pubic louse is white to gray and oval and has a smaller abdomen than both P humanus capitis and P humanus corporis. Pubic lice live for approximately 2 weeks, during which time the females lay 1-2 eggs per day. [6] Nymphs emerge from the eggs after 1 week and then mature into adults over the subsequent 2 weeks. [6]


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