Guess who’s coming to dinner?

by nobugsonme on October 24, 2010 · 9 comments

in bed bugs, photos of bed bugs

Lou Sorkin gave that title to his latest photo, featuring bed bugs dining on his hand alongside body lice.

Yes, body lice.

Lou does things like this to educate us, and I am very grateful. Plus, he’s got a hilarious sense of humor!

Lou describes his photo as follows:

Bed bug, Cimex lectularius, and also the human body louse, Pediculus humanus humanus feeding. Red skin area is a nevus flammeus (birthmark) and not a result of insect feeding.

The October meeting of The New York Entomological Society featured Dale Clayton and his research on the Lousebuster system for head louse management. Dale is at the University of Utah. Technically the human head louse is a different sub species from that pictured, but the one pictured is useful for this presentation.

The body lice pictured [below] are from a colony sent by John Clark from the University of Massachusetts where they are fed on a mechanized system developed in his lab and are not from a wild caught population for those of you who wonder about such things!!

Guess who's coming to dinner?

Thanks, Lou!

And, ewww!

Update (10/25):

Lou has also provided us with a second, labeled image, entitled “I’ll tell you who’s dining…”

I'll tell you who's dining....

And the key:

P=Pediculus (louse)
C=Cimex (bed bug)

Notice that the smallest louse is smaller than a first instar bed bug nymph.

Also a louse in the group on the left middle area of picture is defecating, a behavior that contributes to it being an important insect vector for louse borne diseases. Defecation on the host and the host scratching introduces the disease organism into the excoriated skin.

Thanks again, Lou! Very helpful.

Photos: Lou Sorkin, used by permission

1 CarpathianPeasant October 24, 2010 at 3:07 pm
2 socraticlogic October 24, 2010 at 4:19 pm

I will say that as disgusting as lice are, I find them fascinating! I’m glad Lou is willing to take these pictures though…I’m not sure I would want to.

3 Lou Sorkin October 24, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Yes, the one more bug is the brown marmorated stink bug, an species that arrived in our country few years ago. It’s a true bug, insect order Hemiptera, just like the common bed bug, but is classified in a different family, Pentatomidae, rather than Cimicidae, the bed bug family (and only very few are actually pests of people). BTW, not all pentatomid bugs are pests, some are predators of other insects and would be beneficial.

4 Lou Sorkin October 25, 2010 at 12:10 am
Here’s a labeled image of the dinner.

5 nobugsonme October 25, 2010 at 12:20 am

Thanks very much, Lou! I have added the labeled image and key above. Very helpful!

6 nobugsonme October 25, 2010 at 12:24 am

Lou, I also posted a link to this post on the forums, and you’re getting requests.

Apparently there’s no end to the creatures Bedbugger readers want to see biting your hand.
And David Cain wishes to set some kind of feeding record.
Check it out.

7 Lou Sorkin October 25, 2010 at 5:32 am

The pictures can be downloaded at the highest resolution and then you can zoom in to get a closer look. Compare what you see to the labeled images.

8 Winston O. Buggy October 25, 2010 at 7:14 am

AS usual a good meeting with a really interesting presentation by Dale Clayton.

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