The chigoes, or true chiggers, are the most completely parasitic of any of the fleas. Of the dozen or more known species, one commonly attacks man. This is Dermatophilus penetrans, more commonly known as Sarcopsylla penetrans or Pulex penetrans.
This species occurs in Mexico, the West Indies, Central and South America.
The males and the immature females of Dermatophilus penetrans closely resemble those of other fleas. They are very active little brown insects about 1-1.2 mm. in size, which live in the dust of native huts and stables, and in dry, sandy soil. In such places they often occur in enormous numbers and become a veritable plague.