• Metamorphosis: complete (egg to larva to pupa to adult).
  • Immature: larvae white, cylindrical, legless, with long hairs on thorax and abdomen
  • Adult: sucking mouthparts, no wings, minute size.


Fleas are important ectoparasites of birds and mammals. Some species are important vectors of plague and other diseases.

Classification and Groups

families and 250 species in North America.
At least 2,000 species worldwide.

Medically Important Families:

  • Ceratophyllidae - mainly associated with rodents
  • Leptopsyllidae
  • Pulicidae - several species of human pests
  • Tungidae - chigoe fleas

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