Friday, January 20, 2017

Answer to Case 431

Answer: Tunga penetrans adult flea

This was a tricky case because this flea is rarely seen outside of the human host. When it comes to clinical attention, it is usually because the female has embedded in the skin and has enlarged (with eggs), causing a painful lesion on the host.

When seen, this flea can be differentiated from other common human-biting fleas by a few characteristic features, including a shorter, rounder body, long serrated mouthparts, and compressed thoracic region. It does not have genal or pronotal combs. I've shown a Ctenocephalides adult below for comparison.
Florida Fan invited us to walk on his beautiful Florida beaches where he guarantees we will NOT encounter Tunga penetrans!

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