chigoe


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chigoe

(chĭg`ō) or

jigger,

small parasitic fleaflea,
common name for any of the small, wingless insects of the order Siphonaptera. The adults of both sexes eat only blood and are all external parasites of mammals and birds. Fleas have hard bodies flattened from side to side and piercing and sucking mouthparts.
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 (Tunga penetrans) of the tropics and subtropics, including the S United States. Humans and their domestic animals are the main hosts. The fertilized female bores into the flesh (usually of the feet or legs) and feeds on the blood causing a painful, pustulous sore. She retains her eggs in her abdomen, which swells to the size of a pea. The eggs are expelled outside the host and hatch in the soil, undergoing complete metamorphosis. Significant infestations can lead to severe inflammation, ulceration, and fibrosis and in more extreme cases gangrene, sepsis, and even death. The chigoe is sometimes confused with the chiggerchigger,
minute, six-legged, reddish larva of the harvest mite, one of various red bugs widely distributed throughout the world and common in the S United States. Attaching itself by its mouthparts to the skin of its vertebrate host, the chigger injects saliva that destroys
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. The chigoe is classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, class Insecta, order Siphonaptera.

chigoe

a tropical flea, Tunga penetrans, the female of which lives on or burrows into the skin of its host, which includes man