Flea species richness and parameters of host body, host geography and host 'milieu'

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125 Scopus citations


1. We have assessed how different host parameters affect species richness of flea assemblages using the independent contrasts method. Three groups of host parameters were examined. The first group included host body parameters (body size, basal and average daily metabolic rates), the second group included parameters of geographical range size and position of this range in relation to the equator (latitude) and the third group comprised parameters related to the number of sympatric closely related species. 2. None of the host body parameters correlated with species richness of flea assemblages. 3. Flea species richness increased with an increase in latitude of the geographical range centre of a host as well as with an increase in a composite variable that described the size of the geographical range. 4. The number of sympatric closely related species both across the entire geographical range and locally was correlated positively with species richness of fleas. 5. Our results show that species richness of ectoparasites is affected little by parameters of the host body and to a greater extent by parameters related to the host environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1121-1128
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Animal Ecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2004


  • Body size
  • Flea species richness
  • Geographical range
  • Latitude
  • Mammals
  • Metabolic rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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