Fleas are parasitic insects. Parasites live on other creatures, without killing them. The mouthparts of fleas are modified to pierce skin and suck blood. This allows fleas to live on mammals - dogs, cats, hedgehogs, rabbits, pigs, goats, foxes - and even humans, gaining nourishment from their blood. Pulex irritans is the scientific name for the Human Flea - but in fact humans are more likely to be bitten by dog or cat fleas.
An illustration of a flea by F. G. A. M. Smit, late custodian of the Rothschild collection of Siphonaptera at Tring.
Other names for (or types of) Siphonaptera include:
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