Evoregions of fleas and their small mammalian hosts: Do they coincide?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Combining the biogeography and phylogenetic patterns of parasite-host associations allows a better understanding of the history of parasite-host interactions, which can be achieved via biogeographic regionalization incorporating phylogenetic information. Recently, the concepts of evoregions (regions where a majority of species evolved from one or several ancestors inhabiting these regions) and evolutionary transition zones (regions of high phylogenetic turnover) have been proposed, coupled with a classification approach for these concepts. We applied this approach to 206 flea species and 265 host species of the Palearctic and aimed to identify evoregions and evolutionary transition zones for both fleas and hosts and to understand whether these evoregions and transition zones match each other. We identified 5 evoregions with 3 transition zones for either fleas or hosts, but neither the positions and boundaries of the flea and host evoregions nor the transition zones coincided. Indications of multiple geographic centres of diversification of the same flea lineages suggested that (a) the common evolutionary history of fleas and hosts was characterized by multiple events other than codiversification and that (b) dispersal played an important role in flea and host assemblies. Barriers to dispersal could be represented by landscape features (deserts and mountain ranges) and/or climate differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1031-1039
Number of pages9
Issue number11
StatePublished - 14 Sep 2023


  • evoregions
  • fleas
  • hosts
  • phylogeny
  • spatial distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Parasitology


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