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1 May 2001 Seasonal Abundance of Fleas (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae, Ceratophyllidae) on Wild Rabbits in a Semiarid Area of Northeastern Spain
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Abstract

This paper reports the annual dynamics of wild rabbit fleas in a study site located in the Middle Ebro Valley, northeastern Spain. Fleas collected directly from wild rabbits included the species Spilopsyllus cuniculi (Dale), Xenopsylla cunicularis (Smit), Echidnophaga iberica (Ribeiro, Lucientes, Osácar, and Calvete), Caenopsylla laptevi (Beaucournu, Gil-Collado and Gilot), and Pulex irritans (L.). Monthly collections of adult and larval fleas made from within the first meter of selected burrow entrances also yielded fleas belonging to the same five species. Larval specimens of X. cunicularis, E. iberica, and C. laptevi were also found. Spilopsyllus cuniculi, a winter species that can only breed during the rabbit breeding season, was common on hosts from November to April. Xenopsylla cunicularis and E. iberica were summer species, whereas C. laptevi was abundant during the autumn and winter. Xenopsylla cunicularis and E. iberica larvae were found in burrows only during April and May, whereas those of C. laptevi were collected from October to January. The data suggested that X. cunicularis and E. iberica might diapause during the egg stage whereas C. laptevi diapauses during the pupal stage.

JUAN J. OSÁCAR, J. LUCIENTES, C. CALVETE, M. A. PERIBAÑEZ, M. J. GRACIA, and J. A. CASTILLO "Seasonal Abundance of Fleas (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae, Ceratophyllidae) on Wild Rabbits in a Semiarid Area of Northeastern Spain," Journal of Medical Entomology 38(3), 405-410, (1 May 2001). https://doi.org/10.1603/0022-2585-38.3.405
Received: 22 November 1999; Accepted: 1 January 2001; Published: 1 May 2001
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