A Guide to the Insects of the Coal Oil Point Reserve

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Funded in part by the UCSB Pearl Chase Fund

Last updated 08/15/2005
  Insects of Coal Oil Point > Guide > Fleas

Siphonaptera - Fleas

Fleasare notorious pests. They are wingless, high-jumping blood suckers,well known to dog and cat owners everywhere. They have also beenimplicated as vectors of a number of human diseases, most notablybubonic plague (transmitted from rodents to humans by flea bites).Though in reality most fleas are harmless and ubiquitous cohabitants ofbirds and small mammals, most people will be disconcerted to learn thatplague does in fact occur in California, and is rarely but occasionallytransmitted to people by fleas from ground squirrels. This is not amajor concern at Coal Oil Point, but awareness and caution is alwaysadvisable (visit the CDCfor more information). The reserve is known to have the stick-fast fleathat burrows in the skin of birds, however we do not yet have aspecimen of it.

The lone flea we have in the collection was found in the opening of pocket gopher burrow.

Flea Photos
(click to enlarge)


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