Tunga (genus)

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Tunga (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: British Museum of Natural History - Wikimedia Commons

Tunga Jarocki, 1838

This is the most important genus of sandfleas with more 10 species. The main pest species is the chigoe flea which is widely distributed in tropical regions, especially in Africa and South America. Most species of Tunga are specialized on a given group of mammal hosts.

Both males and females are blood-sucking. The female burrows into the skin of its host while the tip of the abdomen remains outside. While it feeds, eggs are produced, ejected and fall to the ground. The larvae develop and pupate on the ground, feeding on organic matter.

For a taxonomic review of this genus see Linardi et al. (2014).

Currently, the following species have been entered into the system: