Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Tunga Species

  • Raphael FrankEmail author
  • Sven Klimpel
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_3533-1



Indian: tung = penetrating organism; Latin: penetrans = penetrating


Genus of fleas, Aphaniptera, family Tungidae

General Information

The genus Tunga (Tungidae) (Jarocki 1838) contains 13 described species so far. Main reservoir hosts are Artiodactyla, Xenarthra, Rodentia, and Felidae. Three species ( Tunga hexalobulata, T. penetrans, T. trimamillata) are known to parasitize in domestic animals, the last two infest humans, too, causing tungiasis. The genus is divided systematically into caecata and penetrans groups with respect to host range and morphological characteristics. Most members are distributed naturally in South and Middle America. Recent distribution of Tunga penetrans includes Africa. Tunga callida and T. caecigenaoccur naturally in China and Japan. Origin of genus is probably the Neotropics. The genus belongs to the most basal and together most...
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  1. De Avelar DM, Filho EJF, Linardi PM (2013) A new species of Tunga (Siphonaptera: Tungidae) parasitizing cattle from Brazil. J Med Entomol 50(4):679–684CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Further Reading

  1. Feldmeier H, Eisele M, Van Marck E, Mehlhorn H, Ribeiro R, Heukelbach J (2004) Investigations on the biology, epidemiology, pathology and control of Tunga penetrans in Brazil: IV. Clinical and histopathology. Parasitol Res 94(4):275–282CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Hinz E (1996) Zur Verbreitung und Ausbreitung der Gattung Tunga (Siphonaptera:Pulicidae) unter besonderer Berücksichtigung von T. penetrans. Mitt Österr Ges Tropenmed Parasitol 18:173–182Google Scholar
  3. Pampiglione S, Fioravanti ML, Gustinelli A, Onore G, Mantovani B, Luchetti AR, Trentini M (2009) Sand flea (Tunga spp.) infections in humans and domestic animals: state of the arts. Med Vet Entomol 23:172–186CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Ecology, Evolution and Diversity, Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (SBiK-F), Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN)Goethe-University (GU)Frankfurt am MainGermany