- insects with wings, or insects whose ancestors had wings
Fleas are small, wingless insects, whose adults feed on the blood of mammals and birds. They have mouthparts for cutting skin and sucking the blood of their hosts. The larvae have chewing mouthparts, feed as scavengers and usually inhabit the nests of their hosts. Adult fleas are flattened from side to side which allows them to walk or run among the hairs of their host. They are able to jump with their well developed hind legs to avoid danger. Fleas are capable of carrying and spreading human diseases such as typhus, and some species such as the rat flea sometimes carries bubonic plague. Dog fleas (Ctenocephalides canis) and cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) fleas are commonly found on pets, and the human flea, (Pulex irritans), thrives in unclean conditions.
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