#Biodiversity150 number 78 of 150 Flea

78/150: Jumping bloodsuckers Batman! It’s a flea!

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Siphonaptera: Ceratophyllidae: Ceratophyllinae: Ceratophyllus: Ceratophyllus vison (Baker, 1904)

This species of flea is an ectoparasitic insect of squirrels, living on red squirrels east of the Rocky Mountains and Douglas squirrels to the west. Being an ectoparasite means that they live on a host, so fleas have evolved particular features that help them live such a lifestyle, such as a loss of wing development, strong claws for grasping onto the host, and a laterally flattened body to move through the hair or fur. Fleas feed on the blood of their host, so they have mouth-parts similar to mosquitoes and true bugs for piercing and sucking. Their larvae however are not parasites and instead are ground dwelling and feed on organic matter. Fleas don’t have wings but that doesn’t impede their ability to get around. Their powerful hindlegs can propel them 200 times their height when they jump. That’s equivalent to a man jumping over the Empire State Building! There are 48 specimens on BOLD with barcodes. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen BIOUG08868-C04 – Algonquin Park Wildlife Research Station, Whitney, Ontario – 16-Jul-2013. Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
American red squirrel host of Ceratophyllus vison. Photo Credit: Plaistow John goo.gl/3dK4GL
Douglas squirrel host of Ceratophyllus vison. Photo Credit: Walter Siegmund goo.gl/7cPNx6

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID:  CSBMP045-10

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Flea

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAF9680