STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cat flea. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis). Its body is laterally-flattened to allow it to move easily through the fur of its cat host. Comb-like spines on the head (ctenidia) help to anchor the flea in the host's fur. One of its eyes (blue) is seen at upper centre. The mandibles (upper right) are modified to pierce the skin and suck blood. Fleas have three pairs of legs, with the long hindlegs (not seen) adapted for jumping. Most fleas remain on their host only while feeding. Magnification: x40 at 6x7cm size.
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