Fleas are small, wingless, laterally compressed blood sucking insects. Most fleas are mammalian ectoparasites but a few parasitize birds. About 2400 species are known. Like most parasites, fleas are highly derived and specialized. The mouthparts are adapted for piercing and sucking and mandibles are lacking. The cuticle is sclerotized and hard and the entire body surface is protected by sclerites.
Related categories 4
Popular article about fleas, their evolution and life cycle, and the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis, its host finding and control.
Photographs of the dog flea. Click to enlarge.
Several photographs of the cat flea, its larvae and pupae. Click to enlarge.
Ctenocephalides felis and Pulex irritans: Cat Flea and Human Flea
Photograph of a flea, with information on its hosts, life cycle and description.
Ctenocephalides felis: Cat Flea
Photographs and a description of this flea, its distribution, life cycle, medical and economic significance and management.
Ctenocephalides felis: Cat Fleas
Research project by Hoi King Kwong on these parasites including their classification, morphology, habitat, reproduction, adaptations, nutrition and interactions with other species.
Scanning digital micrograph.
Flea Circus Research Library
Flea Circuses and performing fleas in history, film and fiction. Including a directory of real and "humbug" flea circus performers.
This article describes these pests, their biology, importance and control measures.
Article by P.G. Koehler about flea biology with photographs and information on their control.
Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences (St.Petersburg, Russia) presents information on morphology, biology, distribution and importance of fleas (Class Insecta: Order Siphonaptera).
Insect Insights: Flea Circus
Photographic study by Dave Walker of these insects.
Introduction to the Siphonaptera
A brief introduction to fleas by UCMP Berkeley, with photograph.
Photograph of the human flea with its identifying features. Click to enlarge.
The characteristics of these wingless insects, their life cycle, feeding and habitat, with illustrations.
Photograph of the sand flea or chigger, with its identifying features. Click to enlarge.
Photograph of this flea. Click to enlarge.