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Illustration shows the identifying morphologic structures of an adult female flea. Female fleas may be recognized by the presence of a spermatheca, which after mating, functions as a sperm storage receptacle. The characteristics of the spermatheca vary, i.e. size, shape and pigmentation, from specie to specie. Fleas are small flightless insects that form the order Siphonaptera. As external parasites of mammals and birds, they live by consuming the blood of their hosts. Adults are up to about 3 mm (0.12 in) long and usually brown. Bodies flattened sideways enable them to move through their host's fur or feathers, strong claws prevent them from being dislodged. They lack wings, and have mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood and hind legs adapted for jumping. The latter enable them to leap a distance of some 50 times their body length, a feat second only to jumps made by froghoppers.
Model release not required. Property release not required.