Collections of fleas (Siphonaptera) from Pacific marten, Martes caurina (Carnivora: Mustelidae), reveal unique host–parasite relationships in the Haida Gwaii archipelago
AbstractFleas 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)) in Haida Gwaii, off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, led to the collection of five taxa 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 ssp. 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 in Haida Gwaii. This provides further evidence that fleas infesting predators may indicate prey composition within their home ranges.
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