Antarctic Flea

Glaciopsyllus antarcticusSubzero temperatures usually diminish the cat flea population on domestic animals. It is too cold for them to breed outside. However, flea species are known to withstand cold temperatures. The Antarctic flea, Glaciopsyllus antarcticus, was collected from petrel nests on islands off the Antarctic mainland during a bird banding project in 1962. Glaciopsyllus antarcticus visits Antarctica in summer with the Petrel migration. The fleas do not brave the cold of winter but survive by clinging to the seabirds on their flight north.* Fleas do not thrive in the Antarctic winter either.

*Whitehead & Colleagues. 1991. A further contribution on the biology of the Antarctic flea, Glaciopsyllus antarcticus. Polar Biology. 11: 379-383

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.
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One Response to Antarctic Flea

  1. beth downey says:

    I’m doing a project and this helped thanks

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