Do Fleas Have Wings?

Do Fleas Have Wings?

Some people ask, “Do fleas have wings?” The answer is no. Fleas lack wings because they are parasitic. Fleas have been parasitizing mammals for 60 million years. They lost their wings when they became resident parasites, but they retained many of the structures of flying insects, including the hinge ligament of a wing. They also have a protein called resillin, which stores energy for leaps.

Some insects look similar to fleas but do not have wings. Examples of such insects include: cigarette beetles, black carpet beetles, and flour beetles. Some people also confuse fleas with drugstore beetles, which do have wings. Another type of insect that resembles fleas but does not have wings are “mites,” which are small arthropods related to ticks and fleas. They feed on grains and can cause itching and rashes in animals.

Fleas lack wings but they have special bodily structures that allow them to jump higher and jump farther than most flightless insects. Their legs are made of four segments, the coxa, the femur, and the tibia. They can jump eight to thirteen inches, but their wings are not needed to fly.

Despite their small size, fleas can jump up to seven inches vertically. That’s the equivalent of a six-foot-tall man leaping over the Eiffel Tower. In fact, they can jump up to one hundred times their own length!