Sand flea. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a sand flea, or chigger, (Tunga penetrans) embedded in skin (grey). The female of this tropical flea burrows head-first into the skin of its host and drinks its blood. She swells to many times her normal size as she does so, before bursting and releasing eggs. The area around the bite is painful and itchy, and often becomes infected. Magnification: x50 at 6x6cm size.
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