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Temporal range: Early Cretaceous
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Siphonaptera
Genus: Saurophthirus
Ponomarenko, 1976
Type species
Saurophthirus longipes
Ponomarenko, 1976

Saurophthirus is an extinct genus of fleas that represents a transition between primitive stem fleas, and modern species. The type species, S. longipes is found in early Cretaceous strata of Baissa, Siberia. The second species, S. exquisitus, is from the [1] is from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation.


Average length of specimens are 2.50 cm (1 in) long and is hypothesized to have sucked the blood of pterosaurs in the Cretaceous, in the way that bat fleas feed on bat blood today.


  1. ^ Gao, Taiping, et al. "New Transitional Fleas from China Highlighting Diversity of Early Cretaceous Ectoparasitic Insects." Current Biology 23.13 (2013): 1261-1266.