You searched for: “lice
A unit related to: “lice
(Latin: louse, lousy; of lice)
Word Entries containing the term: “lice
plant louse (s) (noun), plant lice (pl)
Any of various small, soft-bodied insects of the family Aphididae which have mouth parts especially adapted for piercing and feeding by pulling the sap from vegetation: Aphids are plant lice which suck the sap from the stems and leaves of various plants and they develop wings and migrate to other places; especially, when there are too many of them in the area.

As small as they are, plant lice are big pests of many fruit trees and vegetable crops.

This entry is located in the following units: aphidi-, aphid-, aphis + (page 1) planta-, plant- (page 1)
Word Entries at Get Words: “lice
louse (s) (noun), lice (pl)
1. A small insect which lives on the bodies of animals and people: One of the problems for children in schools is the transference of head lice to each other.
2. Informally, a cruel or a bad person: Fern's husband has a reputation of being a real louse.

Lice and the loss of body hair by humans

One of the more embarrassing mysteries of human evolution is that people are host to, or may be host to, no fewer than three kinds of lice while most animal species have just one kind of louse.

Even bleaker for the human reputation, the pubic louse, which gets its dates and residence-swapping opportunities when its hosts are locked in intimate embrace, does not seem to be a true native of the human body. Its closest relative is the gorilla louse. (Don't even think about it!)

Three kinds of louse call Homo sapiens their home, but each occupies a different niche on the human body.

  • The head louse, Pediculus humanus, lives in the forest of fine hairs on the human scalp.
  • Its cousin, the body louse, lives not on the skin but in clothes.
  • The exclusive territory of the pubic louse, Phthirus pubis, is the coarser hairs of the crotch.

Biologists have long been scratching their heads over the fact that the human head louse is a sister species to the chimpanzee louse, but the pubic louse is closely related to the gorilla louse.

—Excerpts from "Lice provide head-scratching hints on evolution"
by Nicholas Wade International Herald Tribune, March 9, 2007; page 2.