USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Fleas of North Dakota


Dr. Robert E. Lewis

Fleas are tiny insects, belonging to the order Siphonaptera, which are ectoparasites of mammals and birds. Generally less than 5 millimeters long, their mouthparts are adapted for piercing flesh and sucking blood. They lack wings, but have strong legs, especially the hind pair, which enable them to move quickly and jump distances many times their body length. Eyes are reduced or even absent.

Flea eggs are laid on the host of the adult, in its nest, or on the ground. After hatching, the larva feed on organic debris. After a period of growth, they pupate, emerge, and the adult fleas find a host from which they draw blood as their food. Fleas are mobile enough to move freely over the body of the host or from one host to another. Many of the 11,000 species (more than 200 of which occur in North America) are not host-specific, but will parasitize several species of mammals or birds.

This information on flea species that have been reported from North Dakota was provided by Dr. Robert E. Lewis, Department of Entomology, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011-3222. Telephone: 515-294-1815; email:

For further reading:

Larson, O. R.  1973.  Fleas of North Dakota IV: Cold tolerance in the bird flea, 
     Ceratophyllus idius (Jordan and Rothschild)   Proceedings of the 
     North Dakota Academy of Science 26:51-55.

Larson, O. R.  1978.  Fleas of North Dakota VII: Six new records from peripheral 
     regions of the state.  Proceedings of the North Dakota Academy of 
     Science 31:28-31.

Larson, O. R., M. G. McKenna, and N. R. Fellows.  1985.  Fleas of North Dakota 
     IX: Siphonapterans of mammals in southwestern North Dakota.  Prairie 
     Naturalist 17:241-247.

Nellermoe, R. L., and O. R. Larson.  1987.  Fleas (Siphonaptera) of small 
     mammals from the southern end of the Red River Valley.  Proceedings 
     of the North Dakota Academy of Science 41:59.

Woods, C. E., and O. R. Larson.  1970.  Fleas of North Dakota II: Records from 
     man and other mammals.  Proceedings of the North Dakota Academy of 
     Science 23:31-40.

This resource should be cited as:
Lewis, Robert E.  1997.  Fleas of North Dakota .  Jamestown, ND: Northern 
     Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     (Version 16JUL97).

Table of Contents

The following pages contain distribuition maps for each species.

Aetheca wagneri
Amaradix euphorbi
Amphipsylla sibirica pollionis
Callistopsyllus terinus campestris
Cediopsylla inaequalis inaequalis
Cediopsylla simplex
Ceratophyllus (Ceratophyllus) idius
Ceratophyllus (Ceratophyllus) scopulorum
Ceratophyllus (Ceratophyllus) styx riparius
Ceratophyllus (Emareus) garei
Ceratophyllus (Monopsyllus) vison
Corrodopsylla curvata curvata
Chaetopsylla lotoris
Ctenocephalides canis
Ctenocephalides felis felis
Ctenophthalmus (Nearctoctenophthalmus) pseudagyrates
Epitedia faceta
Epitedia wenmanni
Euhoplopsyllus glacialis affinis
Eumolpianus eumolpi eumolpi
Foxella ignota albertensis
Hystrichopsylla dippiei dippiei
Megabothris (Megabothris) asio megacolpus
Megabothris (Amegabothris) lucifer
Megabothris (Amegabothris) quirini
Meringis jamesoni
Meringis parkeri
Myodopsylla insignis
Nearctopsylla genalis hygini
Neopsylla inopina
Nosopsyllus fasciatus
Oropsylla (Oropsylla) arctomys
Oropsylla (Oropsylla) rupestris
Oropsylla (Opisocrostis) bruneri
Oropsylla (Opisocrostis) hirsutus
Oropsylla (Opisocrostis) labis
Oropsylla (Opisocrostis) tuberculatus cynomuris
Oropsylla (Opisocrostis) tuberculatus tuberculatus
Opisodasys (Opisodasys) pseudarctomys
Orchopeas caedens
Orchopeas howardi
Orchopeas leucopus
Orchopeas sexdentatus agilis
Peromyscopsylla hamifer
Peromyscopsylla hesperomys
Pleochaetis exilis
Pules irritans
Rhadinopsylla (Actenophthalmus) fraterna
Thrassis bacchi bacchi
Thrassis fotus

Downloading Instructions -- Instructions on downloading and extracting files from this site.
(Download) (202K) -- Fleas of North Dakota
Installation: Extract all files and open index.htm in a web browser.

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Saturday, 02-Feb-2013 05:24:55 EST
Sioux Falls, SD [sdww55]