systematics is based on morphology with the majority of characters
derived from the extraordinarily intricate genitalia. Fleas
are one of the few insect groups for which it is easier to
identify specimens to the generic level than to family, and
molecular data suggest that most of the flea families are
in fact paraphyletic. Identifications require an extensive
knowledge of flea morphology and experience in viewing many
specimens. Molecular data is shedding new light into these
groups, and in the end will certainly change how we view flea
is our intention to provide a complete source to flea systematics
on this site, with tutorials in flea morphology, fully illustrated
taxonomic keys, collection data bases, extensive photo documentation
of each species, and the most up to date information on flea
phylogeny and character matrices, both molecular and morphological.
This is a large collaborative project that we anticipate will
take 5 years to complete.