Development rates of two Xenopsylla flea species in relation to air temperature and humidity

B. R. Krasnov, I. S. Khokhlova, L. J. Fielden, N. V. Burdelova

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    91 Scopus citations


    The rate of development of immature fleas, Xenopsylla conformis Wagner and Xenopsylla ramesis Rothschild (Siphonaptera: Xenopsyllidae) was studied in the laboratory at 25°C and 28°C with 40, 55, 75 and 92% relative humidity (RH). These fleas are separately associated with the host jird Meriones crassus Sundevall in different microhabitats of the Ramon erosion cirque, Negev Highlands, Israel. This study of basic climatic factors in relation to flea bionomics provides the basis for ecological investigations to interpret reasons for paratopic local distributions of these two species of congeneric fleas on the same host. Both air temperature and RH were positively correlated with duration of egg and larval stages in both species. Change of humidity between egg and larval environments did not affect duration of larval development at any temperature. At each temperature and RH, the eggs and larvae of X. ramesis did not differ between males and females in the duration of their development, whereas female eggs and larvae of X. conformis usually developed significantly faster than those of males. For both species, male pupae developed slower than female pupae at the same air temperature and RH. Air temperature, but not RH, affected the duration of pupal development. At each humidity, duration of the pupal stage was significantly longer at 25°C than at 28°C: 15.3 ± 1.7 vs. 11.7 ± 1.2 days in X. conformis; 14.1 ± 2.0 vs. 11.5 ± 1.7 days in X. ramesis, with a significantly shorter pupal period of the latter species at 25°C. These limited interspecific bionomic contrasts in relation to basic climatic factors appear insufficient to explain the differential habitat distributions of X. conformis and X. ramesis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)249-258
    Number of pages10
    JournalMedical and Veterinary Entomology
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 9 Oct 2001


    • Development rate
    • Eggs
    • Females
    • Israel
    • Jird
    • Larvae
    • Males
    • Meriones crassus
    • Negev
    • Pupae
    • Relative humidity
    • Temperature
    • X. ramesis
    • Xenopsylla conformis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Parasitology
    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • General Veterinary
    • Insect Science


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