small parasitic flea
of tropical America and 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. The chigoe is sometimes confused with the chigger
. The chigoe is classified in the phylum Arthropoda
, class Insecta, order Siphonaptera.
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