Development Cycle

The flea develops via a number of stages, beginning with the egg, followed by the larva, pupa and finally adult stage. The life cycle of the flea is one of complete metamorphosis. It can be completed in as little as 14 days or be prolonged up to 140 days, depending mainly on temperature and humidity (Silverman et al., 1981). The life cycle of most flea species is characterised by three events: the hatching of the egg, the period from first instar to pupa, and the period from pupa to adult (Linardi et al., 1997) (Fig. 1).

Figure 1: Life cycle of the cat and dog flea
1 adult; 2 eggs; 3 larva; 4 pupa; 5 preemerged adult


Further information

  • Linardi PM, Demaria M, Botelho JR:  Effects of larval nutrition on the postembryonic development of Ctenocephalides felis felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). J Med Entomol. 1997, 34, 494-7
  • Silverman J, Rust MK, Reierson DA: Influence of temperature and humidity on survival and development on the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). J Med Entomol. 1981, 18, 78-83

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