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Electron micrograph of cat flea stylet in skin

Electron micrograph of cat flea stylet in skin

Z375/0076

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Credit

K. H. KJELDSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY K. H. KJELDSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Cat flea's stylet. Coloured scanning electron micrograph of a cat flea's stylet piercing the skin of its host. This hollow organ, formed from the insect's maxillae and an extension of the roof of the mouth, is used to suck blood. The cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) is a small, parasitic, wingless insect. It visits the host only to feed, often gorging itself on so much blood that it can survive for up to six months between meals. Most of the flea's life is spent on the ground in the host's home, where eggs, larvae and cocoons develop. Magnification unknown.

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