Effect of Air Temperature and Humidity on the Survival of Pre-Imaginal Stages of Two Flea Species (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae)

Boris R. Krasnov, Irina S. Khokhlova, Laura J. Fielden, Nadezhda V. Burdelova

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142 Scopus citations


The survival of immature fleas at 25 and 28°C and 40, 55, 75, and 92% RH was studied to test the hypothesis that the difference in microclimatic preferences determines habitat distribution of Xenopsylla conformis Wagner, 1903 and Xenopsylla ramesis Rothschild, 1904. Survival of X. conformis eggs did not depend on either temperature or humidity or both, whereas eggs of X. ramesis survived significantly less at 40% RH than at higher humidities. No larva of either species survived at 40% RH at either temperature. Larval survival of both species at both temperature regimes was significantly lower at 55% humidity than at higher humidities. Maximal survival time of larvae that died before pupation depended on both temperature and humidity in both species. Change of humidity during early stages of the life cycle (from egg to larva) increased the maximal survival time in X. conformis larvae but decreased that in X. ramesis larvae. Pupal survival was higher at higher humidities independent of temperature. Survival of X. conformis pupae was lower than that of X. ramesis pupae when the relative humidity was low. Humidity change on later stages (from larva to cocoon) decreased X. conformis pupal survival and had no effect on X. ramesis pupal survival. The sex ratio of emerged adults was not affected by either temperature or humidity in both species. Changes in humidity between egg and larval environments significantly decreased the percentage of females in X. conformis emergence at 28°C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-637
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2001


  • Relative humidity
  • Survival
  • Temperature
  • Xenopsylla conformis
  • Xenopsylla ramesis


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