Living With Sticktight Fleas

Sticktight Fleas

Sticktight Fleas on Chicken Photo: backyardchickens.com

The sticktight flea, Echidnophaga gallinacea, is an exotic species in North America that feeds on birds and small mammals. It is not typically assoicated with the wild bird population. However, Boughton and colleagues* reported Florida Scrub Jays (a species threatened with extinction) infested with sticktight fleas in 2004. About 14% of the Florida Scrub Jays examined were infested and almost 50% died compared to 6% mortality among uninfested Jays. A nearby ranch had animals with sticktight fleas and the Jays may have contacted the fleas while foraging on scraps at the ranch. Exotic species, such as sticktight flea, may have unexpected consequences for native flora and fauna.

*R. K. Boughton, J. W. Atwellf, and S. J. Schoech. AN INTRODUCED GENERALIST PARASITE, THE STICKTIGHT FLEA AND ITS PATHOLOGY IN THE THREATENED FLORIDA SCRUB-JAY. J. Parasitol. 92(5), 2006: 941-948.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Invasive Species, Pest Management. Bookmark the permalink.

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