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Notes on the Cat Flea in Puerto Rico

Irving FoxSchool of Medicine, School of Tropical Medicine, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Evidence is brought forward to show that Ctenocephalides canis (Curtis) does not occur in Puerto Rico, the species involved being C. felis (Bouché). This evidence is based on surveys of rats and dogs and on a re-examination of the published records. It is likely that the same situation exists in other places from which the dog flea has been reported. The five important characters which separate the two species were studied in 50 females and 40 males of C. felis and the least variable was found to be the shape of the head, a character which alone permits identification of the species; but the relative lengths of the first and second genal spines, the distal expansion of the manubrium, the size of the abdominal spiracles and the hind tibial chaetotaxy are highly variable although within defined limits. Whether forms intermediate between the two species actually occur would depend on a similar study of the intraspecific variations of C. canis.