The Natural History Museum is on a mission to digitise the 80 million specimens in its collection. We want to make the information about the specimens we hold more openly available to scientists and the public.
Among the tens of thousands of microscope slides we have digitally imaged are the Museum’s parasitic louse slide collection consisting of 70,000+ slides, of which about 600 belong to the marsupial chewing lice family (Boopidae). Now we need your help to transcribe information from the specimen labels so that the data can be shared openly with the global scientific community on the Museum’s Data Portal.
Lice live on the outside of their bird and mammal hosts. They are highly host specific, with the majority of species being unique to a particular host species, off of which they cannot survive for long. Because their evolutionary history is closely related to that of their hosts, parasitic lice are frequently used as a model to study co-evolutionary processes. Co-evolution is the process that occurs when two species influence each other during evolution.