Coloured SEM of a cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis

Coloured SEM of a cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis

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This image is part of the feature Parasites

Credit: EYE OF SCIENCE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cat flea. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of a cat flea Ctenocephalides felis. At upper left is the head, which is helmet-shaped to assist the flea to cut a path through the fur of its cat host. The body is also laterally flattened for this purpose. A pair of small rounded eyes (brown) are visible, as are antennae which can be withdrawn into grooves on the head. Comb-like spines on the head, called ctenidia, anchor the flea in the fur of its host. The mandibles are modified to pierce the skin and suck blood. Most fleas remain on their host only while feeding. Magnification: x65 at 6x7cm size.

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Keywords: animal, blood sucker, cat, cat flea, ctenocephalides felis, flea, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, wildlife, zoology

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