Sydney University Department of Medical Entomology Westmead Hospital
Flea Photos
(Click on images to enlarge)

For more information on fleas, see "Flea Fact Sheet"

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The Human Flea

Human Flea

Close up of the head of a preserved human flea, Pulex irritans.

The Cat Flea

Cat flea

A preserved specimen of the Cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis.

Live Cat Flea

Live Cat Flea

A live specimen of the Cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, showing actual colour.

Cat Flea Larva

Cat Flea larva

The larva of a Cat flea. The larvae feed on human skin scales or undigested blood excreted by the adults.

The Rat Flea

Rat flea

The Rat flea, Xenopsylla cheopis, capable of transmitting murine typhus in Australia.

Tunga penetrans (Jigger Flea)

Tunga penetrans, also known as the 'Jigger' or 'Chigoe' flea, occurs in tropical Africa, the Americas and western India. The adult female flea burrows into human flesh, particularly the feet. She will remain embedded, the ovaries will swell and eggs are produced, with the body becoming around the size of a pea. This is an adult female Tunga penetrans that was surgically removed and measures 4.8mm. The head & thorax can be seen as the dark brown stucture, off centred and to the lower left.
This is a close up of the head of the Tunga female seen above. The eyes and legs are clearly visible. From the top of the head to the base of the thorax is 0.57mm.
This patient has several Tunga adults embedded in the feet. The oval sand-like granules are the eggs.
More images of a patient with embedded Tunga fleas.
This image and the previous two were kindly provided by A/Prof Iain Gosbell, Director, Department of Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, South Western Area Pathology Service

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