Some ectoparasites on rodents in New Zealand. 1. Fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera)

Gibson, RN.

Mauri Ora 13: 81-92


Rodents (53 Rattus exulens, 68 R. rattus, 60 R. norvegicus and 136 Mus musculus) were collected from 22 localities in New Zealand including offshore and sub-Antarctic Islands, and examined for ectoparasites. Pooled collections of the fur fauna from several hosts and rodent nest materials were also collected and examined from some localities. Six species of Siphonaptera were collected, all of which had previously been recorded in New Zealand Nosopsyllus fasciatus, Pygiopsylla hoplia, P. phiola, Xenopsylla vexabilis, Leptopsylla segnis, X. cheopis . The sex ratios of the flea species collected, the factors affecting incidence and abundance, and the effects of the flea and host collection methods are discussed. The probable introductory (to New Zealand) hosts of each of the rodent-flea species and both their present and past distributions, and their influence on the results of this survey, are discussed.