Fleas (Oct. 6) - Fleas Order Siphonaptera o 15 families 220...

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Fleas Order: Siphonaptera o 15 families, 220 genera, 2,500 species General Flea Characteristics o 1 mm-8 mm o Wingless o Obligatory Ectoparasites of birds and mammals o Adaptions to living on a host Dorso-laterally flattened Evolved to loose wings (secondarily wingless) Many fleas have lost compound eyes o Complete metamorphosis Immature fleas in different environment o Only adults feed on blood o Not very host specific Majority of species occur on wild rodents Often on dogs and cats but less frequently on livestock Flea life history o Eggs: (5 days) fall off host and hatch in environment o Larvae: 92-3 weeks) feed on organic matter in nest or bedding of host (flea dirt) o Pupae: (1-2 weeks) o Pre-emergent adults in cocoon waiting for suitable host o Host finding critical: warmth, air movements, vibration, odors, CO2 o Generation time is about a month o Can live for long periods (>1 year) waiting for host Types of fleas o Human flea ( Pulex irritans )
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