FDL Late Night: Save the Pubic Louse?

Not this!

Mankind’s ability to drive species into extinction is tragic and legendary: The Tasmanian wolf and tiger, the dodo bird, the freaking passenger pigeon, plus hundreds, nay thousands, of other species of fauna and flora–remember the moly plant? Nope, no one does because it was so prized by the Romans as both an abortifacient and flavoring, it was harvested to the point that it no longer exists; it may have been related to fennel–and disrupting the earth’s delicate ecosystem.

But what about the pubic louse, Phthirus pubis? Yeah, crabs, aka crotch clingers, a (usually) sexually transmitted critter that is embarrassing and yucky and itchy and colonizes pubic hair. Eeuuuw!

Would we, would the world as whole, be better off without the pubic louse, aka the crab louse? What to do they do aside from prove somebody’s a skank? Well, we may be finding out the answer to that sooner than later, since the pubic louse may soon join the Bengal tiger on the endangered species list. And not because of pesticides, or detergents, but because we are ripping out their environment: Our pubic hair.

Bloomberg reports that:

Waning infestations of the bloodsuckers have been linked by doctors to pubic depilation, especially a technique popularized in the 1990s by a Manhattan salon run by seven Brazilian sisters…Ten years ago, U.K. doctors noticed a dwindling in cases of pubic lice even as patient numbers and prevalence rates of other sexually transmitted infections increased. Janet Wilson, a consultant in sexual health and HIV, linked the trend with the growing popularity of pubic hair removal she and colleagues observed among patients attending the genitourinary medicine department at the General Infirmary in Leeds, northern England.

And this is causing concern to those who care about bugs:

“Pubic grooming has led to a severe depletion of crab louse populations,” said Ian F. Burgess, a medical entomologist with Insect Research & Development Ltd. in Cambridge, England. “Add to that other aspects of body hair depilation, and you can see an environmental disaster in the making for this species.”




[HT:  newsvandal.com]

29 Responses to "FDL Late Night: Save the Pubic Louse?"
EvilDrPuma | Tuesday January 15, 2013 08:05 pm 1

Why on earth would we want to save Eric Cantor…oh, wait, that says pubic louse.

DrDick | Tuesday January 15, 2013 08:10 pm 2


Well, it is one of them immigrant furriners anywho (or perhaps an invasive species), so who cares?

EvilDrPuma | Tuesday January 15, 2013 08:14 pm 3
In response to DrDick @ 2

The Bush family?

DrDick | Tuesday January 15, 2013 08:15 pm 4
In response to EvilDrPuma @ 1

I do not know if you saw this, but genetic studies of the public louse have allowed us to get a solid estimate for when hominids lost their body hair. The genetics of human body lice also gives us a solid date by which we were wearing clothes.

DrDick | Tuesday January 15, 2013 08:16 pm 5
In response to EvilDrPuma @ 3

Possibly, pubic lice are descended from gorilla lice.

RodL2 | Tuesday January 15, 2013 08:17 pm 6

Ah, the crabs. They changed my life. I caught them on a camping trip, blamed a girl back home, and was coerced into marrying her.
Pass the Blue Ointment, please. I vant to be alone.

EvilDrPuma | Tuesday January 15, 2013 08:18 pm 7
In response to DrDick @ 4

No, I hadn’t seen that. Very interesting inference.

DrDick | Tuesday January 15, 2013 08:22 pm 8
In response to EvilDrPuma @ 7

They have traced the divergence of pubic lice and gorilla lice to 3.3 million BP and they latter could not have colonized our crotches until after we lost our body hair and the pubic region was separated from the head. Body lice are a variant of head lice (the original human species), but are adapted to living in clothes and bedding rather than hair. They could not have evolved before we had clothing.

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday January 15, 2013 08:27 pm 9

Dr. Dick, that’s astounding! I knew this crew would enjoy this item, and now way more about it than I! (though I am proud of my holy moly reference.

bgrothus | Tuesday January 15, 2013 08:30 pm 10

Perhaps protected habitat for these beloved creatures will have to be established.

DrDick | Tuesday January 15, 2013 08:30 pm 11
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 9

Heh. Anthropology is a wonderful source of weird and wonderful trivia. Did you know that female orgasm is unique to humans? Or that same sex sexuality has been documented in every species of animals for which we have adequate data?

DrDick | Tuesday January 15, 2013 08:31 pm 12
In response to bgrothus @ 10

May I suggest that we set aside the Republican Party as a nature preserve for them?

bgrothus | Tuesday January 15, 2013 08:32 pm 13
In response to DrDick @ 12

I blame the Brazilian wax.

Phoenix Woman | Tuesday January 15, 2013 08:35 pm 14
In response to DrDick @ 11

Aren’t female chimps capable of the Big O?

Teddy Partridge | Tuesday January 15, 2013 08:41 pm 15
In response to DrDick @ 4

lost their body hair?”

Whatchoo talkin about, Willis?

DrDick | Tuesday January 15, 2013 08:42 pm 16
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 14

Nope. I knew a guy when I was in grad school who was a psychologist studying chimps. Did his MA thesis on that very topic. Spent 6 months masturbating female chimps. Other female mammals experience rhythmic vaginal contractions, designed to move the sperm into the uterus, but not the intense pleasure that humans do.

DrDick | Tuesday January 15, 2013 08:44 pm 17
In response to Teddy Partridge @ 15

Actually, we did not lose any of it, it just got much finer. Humans actually have as much hair as chimps. The thing is that human lice need a denser forest than we provide.

DrDick | Tuesday January 15, 2013 09:00 pm 18

Time for me to toddle off. Gots to corrupt them young minds in the morning. Take care all.

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday January 15, 2013 09:11 pm 19
In response to bgrothus @ 13

Exactluy, But what happens if the public lice go extinct!?

masaccio | Tuesday January 15, 2013 09:12 pm 20

I had to give a presentation on bugs in my ROTC class. I used an Army Field Manual on cleanliness and not so cleanliness, featuring bedbugs, lice and other creepy crawlies that were common among soldiers. Where would we be without them?

cmaukonen | Tuesday January 15, 2013 09:39 pm 21

WOT ? You men that Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are in danger of becoming extinct ?

tanbark | Tuesday January 15, 2013 09:40 pm 22

Pish and tosh; you guys don’t know what crabs are. Down here in the Cackalack (especially at Myrtle Beach…) we’ve got crotch pheasants big enough to fuck tom turkeys standin’ flat-footed.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday January 15, 2013 09:44 pm 23
In response to tanbark @ 22

“Hunters itch”

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday January 15, 2013 09:45 pm 24

Yet they are not bed bugs, which are soooo creepy.

richmx2 | Tuesday January 15, 2013 10:11 pm 25

Of course this is total nonsense. What percentage of humanity has ever heard of, or could conceivably afford, or would want, a “Brazilian wax”?

Alex Gordon | Tuesday January 15, 2013 10:14 pm 26
In response to richmx2 @ 25

The sexier percentage?

p654321 | Tuesday January 15, 2013 10:26 pm 27

As if we need one more reason to put a halt to the decades long tyranny of the misguided Brazilian fashion.

On the other hand,

If genuine concern for our tender planet’s delicately balanced biodiversity can help tip the scales in this irrational war on natural beauty, then so be it. Where’s the petition?

The humble and innocent louse- a strange bedfellow after all?

jawbone | Wednesday January 16, 2013 08:50 am 28
In response to DrDick @ 2

At first glance I read the title as “Public Louse,” actually….

Phoenix Woman | Wednesday January 16, 2013 09:34 am 29
In response to DrDick @ 17

Fascinating. I wonder why that is? Do female humans need the carrot of orgasm more than other primates do — perhaps because of those danged big brains of ours?

Sorry but the comments are closed on this post