Download Functional and Evolutionary Ecology of Fleas: A Model for by Boris R. Krasnov PDF

By Boris R. Krasnov

Fleas are some of the most fascinating and interesting taxa of ectoparasites. All species during this rather small order are compulsory haematophagous (blood-feeding) parasites of upper vertebrates. This publication examines how useful, ecological and evolutionary styles and tactics of host-parasite relationships are learned during this specific procedure. As such it presents an in-depth case learn of a host-parasite process, demonstrating how fleas can be utilized as a version taxon for checking out ecological and evolutionary hypotheses. The publication strikes from uncomplicated descriptive elements, to sensible concerns and at last to evolutionary reasons. It extracts numerous normal ideas that practice both good to different host-parasite structures, so it appeals not just to flea biologists but additionally to 'mainstream' parasitologists and ecologists.

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As a result, the geographical distribution of a host-opportunistic flea should be determined mainly by the limits of its own environmental tolerance within the geographical ranges of its hosts. These predictions were tested by Shenbrot et al. (2007) on fleas of the genus Amphipsylla (in total, 32 species). Species of this genus are distributed mainly in the southeastern Palaearctic with some species spilling over into the western and northeastern Palaearctic and even into the Nearctic. They infest muroid rodents belonging mainly to subfamilies Arvicolinae, Calomyscinae, Cricetinae and Myospalacinae (in total, 51 species).

2 Relationship between sizes of the ‘local’ (within a region) and global geographical ranges of 326 flea species from seven geographical regions. Data from Krasnov et al. (2005a). and rhopalopsyllids. Although pulicid fleas have, on average, relatively broad geographical ranges, the proportion of species with a narrow distribution in this family is higher than in the other flea families (as indicated by skewness values). Furthermore, there was a strong positive relationship between geographical range size of a flea species within a given region (local geographical range) and the entire geographical range size of this species (global geographical range) (Fig.

Myoxopsylla which exploits dormice) have well-developed combs with numerous spines. Furthermore, fleas that spend much time in the fur of their hosts tend to have better-developed or more numerous ctenidia, spines and bristles in comparison with fleas that visit a host only for a blood meal and spend most of their lives in the hosts’ burrow or nest. Additional support for the hypothesis of the evolution of combs and spines as a tool to anchor a flea in the fur of a host is provided by the correlation of the distance between tips of the comb spines and the diameter of the host’s hair (Humphries, 1966; Amin & Wagner, 1983; Medvedev, 2001b).

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