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FLEAS

Scanning Electron Micrograph of a FleaFlea is the common name for insects of the order Siphonaptera which are wingless insects whose mouthparts are adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. (some authorities use the name Aphaniptera because it is older, but names above family rank need not follow the ICZN rules of priority, so most taxonomists use the more familiar name). Fleas are external parasites, living by hematophagy off the blood of mammals and birds. Genetic and morphological evidence indicates that they are descendants of the Scorpionfly family Boreidae, which are also flightless; accordingly it is possible that they will eventually be reclassified as a suborder within the Mecoptera. In the past, however, it was most commonly supposed that fleas had evolved from the flies (Diptera), based on similarities of the larvae. In any case, all these groups seem to represent a clade of closely related insect lineages, for which the names Mecopteroidea and Antliophora have been proposed.

Some well known flea species include:

  1. Cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis),
  2. Dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis),
  3. Human flea (Pulex irritans),
  4. Northern rat flea (Nosopsyllus fasciatus),
  5. Oriental rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopis).

Fleas are small (1/16 to 1/8-inch (1.5 to 3.3 mm) long), agile, usually dark colored (for example, the reddish-brown of the cat flea), wingless insects with tube-like mouth-parts adapted to feeding on the blood of their hosts. Their bodies are laterally compressed (human anatomical terms), permitting easy movement through the hairs or feathers on the host's body (or in the case of humans, under clothes). Their legs are long, the hind pair well adapted for jumping (vertically up to seven inches (18 cm); horizontally thirteen inches (33 cm)) - around 200 times their own body length, making the flea one of the best jumpers of all known animals (in comparison to body size), second only to the froghopper.


References:
[1] Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Flea
[2] Photo from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Scanning Electron Micrograph of a Flea


 
 

 
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Massachusetts ( MA ) cities and towns serviced by Freedom Pest Control:
Amesbury MA, Andover MA, Arlington MA, Berkley MA, Beverly MA, Billerica MA, Boston MA, Boxford MA, Bradford MA, Brighton MA, Brockton MA, Brookline MA, Burlington MA, Byfield MA, Cambridge MA, Carlisle MA, Charlestown MA, Chelmsford MA, Chelsea MA, Chestnut Hill MA, Concord MA, Danvers MA, Dedham MA, Dracut MA, Essex MA, Everett MA, Georgetown MA, Gloucester MA, Groveland MA, Hamilton MA, Hanover MA, Haverhill MA, Holliston MA, Hyde Park MA, Ipswich MA, Jamaica Plain MA, Lawrence MA, Littleton MA, Lowell MA, Lynn MA, Lynnfield MA, Malden MA, Manchester-by-the-Sea MA, Marblehead MA, Marlborough MA, Mattapan MA, Medford MA, Melrose MA, Merrimac MA, Methuen MA, Middleton MA, Nahant MA, Newbury MA, Newburyport MA, Newton Highlands MA, Newton MA, North Andover MA, North Reading MA, Peabody MA, Quincy MA, Randolph MA, Reading MA, Revere MA, Rockport MA, Roslindale MA, Rowley MA, Salem MA, Salisbury MA, Salisbury Beach MA, Saugus MA, Somerville MA, South Hamilton MA, Stoneham MA, Swampscott MA, Tewksbury MA, Topsfield MA, Upton MA, Waban MA, Wakefield MA, Waltham MA, Watertown MA, Wayland MA, Wenham MA, West Boxford MA, West Newbury MA, Wilmington MA, Winchester MA, Winthrop MA, Woburn MA, Worcester MA
 
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Atkinson NH, Danville NH, Derry NH, East Hampstead NH, East Kingston NH, Epping NH, Exeter NH, Greenland NH, Hampstead NH, Hampton NH, Hampton Beach NH, Hampton Falls NH, Kingston NH, Londonderry NH, Newton NH, Pelham NH, Plaistow NH, Portsmouth NH, Salem NH, Sandown NH, Seabrook NH, Seabrook Beach NH, South Hampton NH, Stratham NH, Windham NH
 
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