Head Region of Fleas Diagram

Head Region of Fleas Diagram

Head Region of Fleas Diagram

This diagram highlights some common identifying morphologic features found on the head region of fleas.

Identifying features include the absence or presence of an eye, the number and placement of ocular and post-antennal setae, the number of teeth in the genal comb, and the structure of the mouth parts, particularly the length of the labial palpi.

Diamanus montanus Illustration

Diamanus montanus Illustration

Diamanus montanus Illustration

This illustration shows some of the identifying characteristics of the “rock squirrel” flea, Diamanus montanus.

D. montanus, has a very long pair of labial palpi, extending beyond the tip of the trochanter of its first pair of legs. This flea is known to be a plague vector in the United States, associated with rock squirrels, Spermophilus variegatus.

Mouse Flea Illustration

Mouse Flea Illustration

Mouse Flea Illustration

This illustration shows one of the identifying morphologic characteristics of the “mouse flea”, Leptopsylla segnia.

Leptopsylla segnia has 4 prominent teeth in the genal comb on either side of its head; it also lacks eyes. It is more closely associated with rats of the genus Rattus spp. than with mice. It has been found to be a poor plague vector.

Rat Flea Illustration

Rat Flea Illustration

Rat Flea Illustration

This illustration reveals an identifying characteristic of the “rat flea’s”, Nosopsyllus fasciatus, head region.

N. fasciatus has a labial palpus that doesn’t extend beyond the tip of the first coxae. It’s closely associated with rats of the genus Rattus spp., and important in the transfer of plague from rat to rat, but doesn’t readily bite humans.

Flea Illustration

Flea Illustration

Flea Illustration

The posterior margin of the metanotum of fleas in the family Ceratophyllidae has spinelets, or tiny pigmented teeth.

Fleas that are members of the family Ceratophyllidae have been shown to be important in the transmission, and perpetuation of plague by acting as vectors in the transmission of Yersinia pestis bacteria amongst wild and domestic rodent hosts.