There are several species or kinds of lice that feed on people:

  • Head Lice (Pediculus humanus capitis), feed specifically on the human head and attach their eggs, or nits, to hair shafts.
  • Body Lice (Pediculus humanus corporis), are a closely related species that are indistinguishable from head lice. Outside of laboratory conditions body lice do not interbreed with head lice and occupy different habitats on the human body. They attach their eggs, or nits, to clothing instead of hair shafts.
  • Pubic Lice (Phthirus pubis), also called the pubic or crab louse, are a more distantly-related species of louse which can colonize any part of the human body but primarily infest the public region. They attach their eggs, or nits to hair shafts as well.