Volume 11, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Weekly collections of fleas from live trapped rodents were made for 1 year in a defined area of commingling wild and domestic rodents. Eleven species of fleas were taken from nine species of mammals; in order of predominance the commonest were: fleas, , and ; and rodents, and .

Seasonal fluctuations of the indices of fleas were positively correlated with the abundance of their usual or preferred hosts. In addition, was most abundant during the wet season. , the most abundant flea, was most numerous during dry weather. was spatially limited by the presence of its host.

Increased numbers of wild rodent fleas were found on rats when they invaded an area occupied by wild rodents. These rats originated from a hog farm, and it is suggested that these fleas were acquired from the invaded territory. If actual exchange of fleas between hosts took place in the area, the data indicated that transfer occurred principally from wild rodents to rats, and the fleas seemingly transferred more frequently to than to or . The likelihood and the rate of exchange of a given flea species was probably influenced by its host preference and available hosts. Two factors in host densities were noted to create a response to flea occurrence: (1) the relative abundance of the preferred host and (2) the presence and abundance of other hosts.

The data suggest that the magnitude of a flea population is a function of the relative densities of hosts present. However, the host preference of a given flea or its tolerance to environmental factors (as wet or dry seasons) may impose a limit on the population.


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