Myth or truth: investigation of the jumping ability of Tunga penetrans (Siphonaptera: Tungidae)

Abstract:

Female sand fleas (Tunga penetrans Linnaeus, 1758, Siphonaptera: Tungidae) cause a severe parasitic skin disease known as tungiasis. T. penetrans is a small flea, measuring less than 1 mm in length. The females of this species burrow into the skin of human and animal hosts and mostly affect the feet. This has led to the anecdotal assumption that T. penetrans, unlike its relatives in the Siphonaptera family, would have a limited jumping ability potentially not reaching higher body parts. However, there is no data supporting this. This study evaluated the jumping capabilities of T. penetrans for height and distance using sticky tapes. The vertical jump of the female T. penetrans ranged from 4.5 to 100 mm with a mean of 40 mm whereas the vertical jump of the male T. penetrans ranged from 1.2 to 138 mm with a mean of 46 mm. The horizontal jump of the female T. penetrans ranged from 18 to 138 mm with a mean of 64 mm and that of the male ranged from 9 to 251 mm with a mean of 80 mm. Based on the literature, fleas of various species have been described as jumping vertically 50–100 times their size and horizontally 5–100 times their size. In this respect, sand fleas appear to have equal expert jumping abilities to their relatives. Their aggregation on people’s feet is not likely a result of their poor jumping ability but might be an adaptation to the host’s behavior which would require further investigations.
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APA

Hyuga, A (2024). Myth or truth: investigation of the jumping ability of Tunga penetrans (Siphonaptera: Tungidae). Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/myth-or-truth-investigation-of-the-jumping-ability-of-tunga-penetrans-siphonaptera-tungidae

MLA 8th

Hyuga, Ayako "Myth or truth: investigation of the jumping ability of Tunga penetrans (Siphonaptera: Tungidae)" Afribary. Afribary, 10 Mar. 2024, https://afribary.com/works/myth-or-truth-investigation-of-the-jumping-ability-of-tunga-penetrans-siphonaptera-tungidae. Accessed 30 May. 2024.

MLA7

Hyuga, Ayako . "Myth or truth: investigation of the jumping ability of Tunga penetrans (Siphonaptera: Tungidae)". Afribary, Afribary, 10 Mar. 2024. Web. 30 May. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/myth-or-truth-investigation-of-the-jumping-ability-of-tunga-penetrans-siphonaptera-tungidae >.

Chicago

Hyuga, Ayako . "Myth or truth: investigation of the jumping ability of Tunga penetrans (Siphonaptera: Tungidae)" Afribary (2024). Accessed May 30, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/myth-or-truth-investigation-of-the-jumping-ability-of-tunga-penetrans-siphonaptera-tungidae