Collections of fleas (Siphonaptera) from Pacific marten, <i>Martes caurina</i> (Carnivora: Mustelidae), reveal unique host–parasite relationships on the Haida Gwaii archipelago
Keywords:Siphonaptera, Pacific marten, Martes caurina, ectoparasites, host-parasite relationships
Fleas and their host-parasite relationships are understudied in many parts of Canada, yet such relationships may contribute to our knowledge of ecosystems in ways we have yet to understand. A collection of 57 fleas from Pacific marten (Martes caurina (Merriam)) on Haida Gwaii led to the discovery of five species of fleas: the European rat flea, Nosopsyllus fasciatus (Bosc), a squirrel flea, Ceratophyllus (Amonopsyllus) ciliatus protinus (Jordan), a mustelid flea, Chaetopsylla floridensis (I. Fox), Hystrichopsylla (Hystroceras) dippiei, likely spp. spinata Holland, a parasite of mustelids and mephitids, and a generalist bird flea, Dasypsyllus gallinulae perpinnatus (Baker). All five species are first records for Haida Gwaii, and C. floridensis is recorded from Canada for the first time. Two new host-parasite relationships support a previous dietary study of marten on Haida Gwaii. This is further evidence that fleas infesting predator may inform prey composition within its home range.
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