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Cat flea? - Ctenocephalides felis

Cat flea? - Ctenocephalides felis
Licking County, Ohio, USA
November 14, 2007
Size: 2.8mm
I think this is Ctenocephalides felis, but looking for confirmation if possible. Here's a link to the actual uploaded file, for non-editors. Just noticed that I apparently damaged the hind retrolateral coxa(?), probably while trying to clean the bug for shooting. :-(

Collected from the newest arrival to our home, a dangerously cute 7-week old kitten.

Image compiled in Helicon Focus Pro from 17 exposures.

Images of this individual: tag all
Cat flea? - Ctenocephalides felis Cat flea? - Ctenocephalides felis Cat flea? - Ctenocephalides felis

Another way of looking
at a flea

EDIT: I figured it fit best on the photography technique page. But I wanted to link it to the cat flea page.Thought I could get away with sticking it with your image - sort of expected some feed-back!

Thanks for the comments guys. Sorry I couldn't respond sooner.

I'm not sure which was funnier, Ron's "crazy cat fleas" or Jeff's request for "a close up"! Well, they didn't look any crazier than usual, so they apparently weren't able to acquire a human bloodmeal. And yes, I re-shot to attempt a closer view, but didn't really get much more detail. Posted.

Cute kitten Jim! Nice colors. Did you get a name for it yet? Male or female? My wife had some name suggestions; don't remember them now though. I posted some "habitat" shots over here, taken after an unrelated bath. Vet gave her a pill that killed all the fleas within 24 hours.

Thanks Omar. You taught me some new words. While looking them up I also found some basic keys explaining head shape and the number of hind tibia setae attachment points as being important distinctions between cat and dog fleas, along with the host obviously. As far as I could tell, this is the only species known to feed on cats. I would have expected the common name "cat flea" to represent a group or subfamily of fleas.

Will, if you haven't already, try using extension tubes and/or teleconverters with that lens. Also try to find out, to within the nearest 1/3 stop, the sharpest aperture for the individual exposures. And watch your focus overlap. Too much overlap will actually reduce, not increase, the amount of detail in a stacked compilation. Helicon Focus will allow for some sloppy inter-frame alignment, but if you can at least turn of the auto-rotation you should see a slight improvement in final detail.

if you found it on a cat
and it has a genal and pronotal comb, it is probably C. felis. What an amazing picture

Okay Jay, that's the last straw!
How on God's green Earth did you get such a detailed photo of such an extremely small species. I've been using Helicon focus and a 100mm 1:1 macro lens and I can't get even a tenth as close with a specimen 4 times bigger! Once again, your photography blows me away every time!!!

Yea Jay....
quit it! You're pissing the rest of us off. What with your extremely detailed pictures, awesome in-focus views of really really small critters, perfect lighting, perfect crisp clear picture of every little detail....just who do you think you are....always taking perfect pictures while the rest of us wallow in mediocrity ? I think we need to have a serious talk about your unruly behaviour!

I wouldn't bother asking, but it's you...
so, any chance of a close up of the head and/or mouthparts?

Very nice
Very nice picture. It almost makes me regret all of the effort I go to, to kill them. :-)
It’s been a great fall for kittens too
And yes she did come with her own set of critters; If I'd been thinking I would have snagged an ear mite.

Nice shot; hope it's not a cat flea!
They have a nasty bite on people, plus I've heard human blood makes them crazy. Believe me, you don't want to be around crazy cat fleas!

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