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.
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
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|Operated by: Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council|