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Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa
> Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Phylum:
Arthopoda > Mandibulata >
Atelocerata > Panhexapoda >
> Insecta (insects) > Dicondyla > Pterygota >
Metapterygota > Neoptera > Eumetabola > Holometabola > Panorpida > Antliophora
DNA studies have shown that fleas evolved from
within the insect order Mecoptera. Previously they were placed in
their own order, in fact classifications often still do retain them
as a separate order.
Of the nearly 100 species of flea found in southern Africa, the Cat
felis, which bites cats, dogs and humans, is usually the species responsible for causing human discomfort.
Genetic analysis, supported by morphological
information, has provided strong evidence that fleas are closely
related to mecopterans in the family Boreidae (snow scorpionflies or