taxonomy of fleas is a complicated process and a good deal
of expertise is required to identify most taxa to the species
level. Moreover, unlike other insect groups, it is very difficult
to identify fleas to the family level, and it is generally
easier to identify flea genera than flea families. To complicate
matters more, subgeneric and other "groups" are
commonly recognized for many taxa.
intent is to produce working keys for flea identification,
with extensive documentation of the characters used in the
couplets, and examples of as many species as we can acquire
through our efforts. This is an extensive project, and we
are currently compiling these keys. Other than the key to
the subfamilies of Hystrichopsyllidae, the keys presented
here are extracted from the work of G.H.E. Hopkins and M.
Rothschild. 1962. An Illustrated Catalogue of the Rothschild
Collection of Fleas in the British Museum (Natural History),
Volume III: Hystrichopsyllidae, London, 560 pp., 1,049 figs.,
10 plates. Line drawings are from the same source to which
we have added photos for further illustration.
on the icons below for example taxonomic keys: