Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Bat Fleas - Siphonaptera Ischnopsyllidae

The bat flea could make a good flea circus performer with a different act, it likes to climb as is used to crawling up cave walls to locate bats roosting on the cave ceiling.

It is yellowish-brown in color and the males grow to 2.4 mm, and females 2.5 mm. Which in flea terms is quite large. The head, thorax, abdomen, and legs are exceptionally long and slender.

However it could be difficult to capture and feed as unlike some other fleas, bat fleas do not feed on other hosts. Female bats normally have more fleas than the males due to the additional time they spend roosting in caves and building. The larvae, pupae and sometimes adults of these fleas live in the guano that accumulates below roosts of these bats.

Please note that it is illegal to handle bats in the UK without a license.

Journal of Parasitology: Ectoparasitic Insects of Bats in British Columbia, Canada
Notes on the Bat Flea, Z Rodríguez, EC Moreira, PM Linardi, HA Santos

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