Human flea, University of Nebraska
(siphon = tube; aptera = wingless)


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

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

Medically Important Families:
Ceratophyllidae - mainly associated with rodents
Pulicidae - several species of human pests
Tungidae - chigoe fleas

More Information

human flea photograph
adult Oriental rat flea photograph
larva of Oriental rat flea photograph