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Fleas: Introduction

Fleas (Siphonaptera) are a familiar, if unpleasant, group of insects, but they are very poorly recorded in Staffordshire. The one hundred or so records almost all originate from either the work of Chris Mason of Natural England or the collection of the Potteries Museum which have been collected from bird and mammal corpses donated to the museum over the years.

This atlas should not be seen as a comprehensive distribution of fleas in Staffordshire, but it is hoped it will prompt some enthusiastic entomologist to study fleas and improve the coverage for the county!

Most of the museum's specimens were identified by myself and have subsequently been verified by Bob George.

Life History

As adults all fleas are obligate parasites of warm-blooded vertebrates, birds and mammals, however, the larvae are free living 'maggots' which live in the ground layer and only attach themselves to the host after metamorphosing into the adult form.


  • Title Page Photograph: Hedgehog Flea (Archaeopsylla erinacei), © Craig Slawson, 1988

Printing of this publication for educational purposes is permitted, provided that copies are not made or distributed for commercial gain, and the title of the publication and its date appear. To copy otherwise, or to republish, requires specific permission from the Author or Staffordshire Ecological Record.

Created by SER © 2019 The Wolseley Centre, Wolseley Bridge, Stafford. ST17 0WT Last updated 10/04/2015
Operated by: Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council