ALASKAN HEMATOPHAGOUS INSECTS, THEIR FEEDING HABITS AND POTENTIAL AS VECTORS OF PATHOGENIC ORGANISMS. 1. THE SIPHONAPTERA OF ALASKA
Technical rept. Jun 1960-May 1964
OKLAHOMA UNIV RESEARCH INST NORMAN
Pagination or Media Count:
Fifty-one species and subspecies of fleas are currently known in Alaska 37 species normally occur on mammals, and 14 are associated with birds. With the possible exception of one or two species, none are restricted to the political entity, Alaska. From a study of geography, paleozoology, morphology and taxonomy, the fleas of Alaskan mammals are reported to be derived from three principal faunas. The largest group apparently arose from Eurasia as the mammals migrated across the Bering Land Bridge during the glacial periods of the Pleistocene epoch and earlier. A study of host associations reveals that distribution of the fleas is not concordant with that of the preferred hosts. For example, of six species associated with microtine rodents in the taiga, only two have followed the same hosts into the vast tundra region to the north. Fleas originally thought to be restricted to the Arctic regions are now known to have adapted to hosts within the taiga, albeit the distribution is not an extensive one. These distribution patterns indicate that the Siphonaptera are subject to ecological factors and pressures over and above those which affect the distribution of the mammals and birds upon which they depend for their existence.The data collected thus far indicate that most fleas in the taiga have one, or possibly two, generations a year.