Oriental Rat Flea Xenopsylla cheopsis (Rothschild, 1903) (Insecta: Siphonaptera: Pulicidae)
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How to Cite

Cross, Chad L., Jason L. Williams, and Andrea Lucky. 2021. “Oriental Rat Flea Xenopsylla Cheopsis (Rothschild, 1903) (Insecta: Siphonaptera: Pulicidae): EENY-775/IN1330, 8/2021”. EDIS 2021 (5). Gainesville, FL. https://doi.org/10.32473/edis-IN1330-2021.


The oriental rat flea, Xenopsylla cheopis (Rothschild, 1903), is a member of the family Pulicidae in the order Siphonaptera. Fleas are highly specialized insects that are demonstrably successful as ectoparasites of birds and mammals (Marquardt, et al. 2000). Of the nearly 2,500 species of fleas known from around the world (Triplehorn & Johnson 2005), few are as infamous as the oriental rat flea. This species is best known as the carrier of the plague bacterium (Yersinia pestis) that was responsible for decimating large populations of people, including nearly a third of the human population of Europe, and influenced the trajectory of human history (Fasulo 2004). In addition to its role as a vector of the plague bacterium, this species can vector other pathogens and at least two tapeworm parasites of humans (Marquardt, et al. 2000; Gage 2005).

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