sand flea


Definition of sand flea 

1 : a flea (such as a chigoe) found in sandy places The so-called sand flea that people encounter on vacation beaches is nothing more than a common flea that is breeding outdoors in the soil.— Jane E. Brody

2 : any of various amphipod crustaceans (family Talitridae) found on ocean beaches that feed on decaying organic matter, typically burrow into the sand during the day, and are capable of leaping like fleas : beach flea These little shorebirds are generally in small groups, chasing the receding breakers on twinkling feet, probing for sand fleas and other crustaceans …— Dennis Puleston

Examples of sand flea in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

To reach these findings, the researchers tested fluralaner and afoxolaner on disease-spreading mosquitoes and sand fleas and found that the drugs were effective at killing off the insects that consumed the compounds through samples of human blood. Alexandra Sifferlin, Time, "How a Drug For Pets May Help Prevent Zika and Malaria," 2 July 2018 Some nasty species live in sand, too, such as parasitic insects called sand fleas. Discover Magazine, "20 Things You Didn't Know About ... Sand," 18 May 2018 Skin-crawling video shows amphipods, also referred to as sand fleas or sea fleas, gnawing away at the steak used to lure it from the water. National Geographic, "Mysterious Flesh-Eating Sea Creature Causes Shocking Injury," 7 Aug. 2017 The large yellow underwing moth, for instance, can use the moon’s azimuth (or horizontal bearing) to help orient its flight—a skill that other creatures, such as sand fleas, also employ to great effect. National Geographic, "Sex, Death, and Pollination: How the Moon Changes Life on Earth," 6 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sand flea.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sand flea

1796, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of sand flea was in 1796

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sand flea


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a knickknack or trinket

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