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Host species influence on flea (Siphonaptera) infection parameters of terrestrial micromammals in a temperate forest of Mexico

  • Fernando Aguilar Montiel (a1) (a2), Arturo Estrada-Torres (a2), Roxana Acosta (a3), Miguel Rubio-Godoy (a4) and Jorge Vázquez (a2)...
Abstract

Studies of abundance and distribution of organisms are fundamental to ecology. The identity of host species is known to be one of the major factors influencing ectoparasitic flea abundance, but explanations are still needed regarding how host taxa influence abundance parameters of different flea species. This study was carried out at La Malinche National Park (LMNP), Tlaxcala, Mexico, where previously 11 flea species had been recorded on 8 host species. Our aims were to list micromammal flea species, to determine flea infection parameters [flea prevalence (FP) and flea mean abundance (FMA)] and to analyse the influence of host species on these parameters. A total of 16 species of fleas were identified from 1178 fleas collected from 14 species of 1274 micromammals captured with Sherman® traps from March 2014 to December 2015 in 18 sites at LMNP. Some host species influence FP and FMA, in particular, Microtus mexicanus and Peromyscus melanotis showed particularly higher infection values than other host species. Plusaetis aztecus and Plusaetis sibynus were identified as the most abundant flea species.

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Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: Jorge Vázquez, E-mail: jorge.vazquezp@uatx.mx; Arturo Estrada-Torres, E-mail: arturo.estrada.t@uatx.mx
References
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