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J Vector Borne Dis. 2019 Apr-Jun;56(2):134-145. doi: 10.4103/0972-9062.263715.

Annotated checklist of fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) and lice (Insecta: Anoplura) associated with rodents in Iran, with new reports of fleas and lice.

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Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.
Department of Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Islamic Azad University, Arak, Iran.


Background & objectives:

Rodent species reported from Iran are subject of several studies, but the fauna called ectoparasite, infesting the rodents, along with their epidemic effects, are poorly known. In this study, ectoparasitic insect fauna of rodents found across the Iran were studied, to generate an annotated checklist of fleas and lice species.


Several field expeditions focused on different habitats of northeastern Iran were conducted between January 2017 and May 2018. Rodent trapping was carried out using custom-made mesh live traps and "Faragir" live traps baited mainly with scorched sunflower and gourd seeds. The trapped rodents were examined for ectoparasites on their body, and then released at their trapping point. The rodents and ectoparasite species were identified based on available keys.


A total of 217 rodents belonging to 16 species of the families Calomyscidae, Cricetidae, Dipodidae, Mu- ridae and Sciuridae were captured. Five species of each fleas and lice were collected from the body of the trapped rodents. Three flea species, Ctenophthalmus pseudagyrtes, Nosopsyllus iranus and Xenopsylla buxtoni; and two louse species, Polyplax gerbilli and P. spinulosa, were recorded for the first time.

Interpretation & conclusion:

The study generated an annotated checklist of 79 species of fleas and 8 species of lice harboured by different species of rodents distributed in Iran which would be helpful in different taxonomic studies such as parasite-host coevolution, and also sanitation and health monitoring programs.


Fleas; Iran; lice; rodents; zoonotic disease

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