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Fleas are wingless insects with a laterally compressed body of about 1.5–4 mm length. Like all insects they possess six legs and three body segments. Taxonomically they belong to the order Siphonaptera (Eckert et al. 2000) (Table 1). This family contains several species and subspecies. Fleas represent one of the most important ectoparasites (Mehlhorn 2000; Mehlhorn et al. 2001b). At the moment there are more than 2000 described species and subspecies throughout the world (Borror et al. 1981). These species belong to the families Pulicidae, including Pulex spp., Ctenocephalides spp., Spilopsyllus spp. and Archaeopsyllus spp., or the familia Ceratophyllidae with the genuses Ceratophyllus or Nosopsyllus to mention only some of the most important veterinary and human representatives.

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© 2001 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

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Krämer, F., Mencke, N. (2001). Introduction. In: Flea Biology and Control. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-540-41776-7

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