Head of a hen flea. Coloured scanning electron micrograph of the head of the hen flea (Ceratophyllus gallinae). The flea is a parasite on dry nesting birds, such as the blue tit and chickens. The head (at top) is helmet-shaped and the body is laterally flattened, adaptions which allow easy movement through the feathers of the host. The antennae can be withdrawn into grooves on the side of the head behind each eye. The mandibles with long palps (right) are modified for the blood sucking habit of this insect. Most fleas remain on the host only while feeding. This flea also occupies the bird's nest. Magnification: x230 at 5x7cm size.
Model release not required. Property release not required.