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A restored sketch sheet of Saurophthirus longipes on a unnamed dinosaur
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Siphonaptera
Genus: Saurophthirus
Ponomarenko, 1976
Species: S. longipes
Type species
Saurophthirus longipes
Ponomarenko, 1976
Referred species
  • Saurophthirus exquisitus (Gao et al. 2013)
  • Saurophthirus longipes (Ponomarenko, 1976)

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

In the Media[]


Walking with Dinosaurs Saurophthirus

  • Saurophthirus appears in the forth episode of Walking with Dinosaurs called "Giant of the Skies", as an unidentified parasitic insect feeding on the wing membrane of an "Ornithocheirus" (Tropeognathus)