May 272015

Chaetopsylla trichosa is a member of the Vermipsyllidae and can be found on badgers (Meles meles) and fox (Vulpes vulpes). It is never abundant on its hosts, as compared to Chaetopsylla globiceps or Chaetopsylla homoea. It is rare or absent on mountains, it prefers low altitude. Strange ? Don’t you think so ?

This species is very widely spread, all over the Palearctic region, till China ! Anyway it seems very specific, as found only on badgers, fox and occasionally on weasels (Martes foina), according to Professor Beaucournu.

According to Amoret P. Whitaker, it was only once found in British Isles. If you happen to found some in Great Britain, please let us know !

I thank again my friend Paul Leroy for the two photos, the male and the female.

If you know something particular about this species, I would be very grateful to get your information.


May 252015

This parasite is spread all over the world, probably because it was brought by human with the introduction of porks. Originally, this is the type louse of boar (Sus scrofa).

I am glad to show you today two outstanding photos of Haematopinus suis, made by an outstanding microscopist, Paul Leroy.

It seems that the Haematopinidae family includes only one genera. Anyway if this species is the most well known, there are a lot of other Haematopininus species. If you happen to meet some other species, do not hesitate to send them to us ! I will be glad to mount them or offer them to Paul Leroy !



May 192015

Hello friends,

This is a pest of different species of Mason bee (Osmia) in Europe. I am sure there are other species of Chaetodactylidae in Europe, but for the time being I found only this one.

I made a photo in light microscopy of the whole acari, a detail of the dorsal cuticule, and a detail of the attachement zone.

I would be very interested in other exemples of Chaetodactylidae to compare the morphology, Chaetotaxy and fine details of cuticle. If you get some, let me know !


May 102015

Hello world !

This mite is definitely not a parasite but is worth some photos because it has very interesting ornamentations on the whole body.

Thanks to the help of Peter Masan, this deutonymph has been identified as Uroobovella pulchella (Berlese, 1904), belonging to the family of Trematuridae.

One important thing : they were found on Lithobius forficatus, a case of phoresia (thanks to Etienne Iorio for the collection of the specimens). Uroobovella pulchella is a well-known passenger of this type of bus (like Trichouropoda ovalis,…), the most common passenger in Slovakia according to Peter Masan.

Enjoy these microsculptures of our Mother Nature !



May 052015

It is a pity that when you search at information on a specific species on the Internet, you always step on sites about biodiversity, giving only the scientific name and no information at all on the species… Sometimes very scarce information can be found when the parasite is a vector of specific diseases.


Our today focus is the mouse flea Leptopsylla (Leptopsylla) segnis (Schönherr, 1811) ! In the past, before the invention of this complicated systematic, some authors called it Pulex musculi (obviously the mouse flea !)… But as a matter of fact, we are nor in the Pulicidae family, neither in the Leptopsyllidae… As far as I understand Leptopsylla is now member of the Ceratophyllidae and the former Leptopsyllidae family is considered now as a sub-family (Leptopsyllinae). Am I wrong ? Some authors still consider valid the family of Leptopsyllidae.

Anyway, I consider this mouse flea (can be found also on the rats) as very smart and elegant but, concerning epidemic diseases, it is a known vector of Rickettsia (Rickettsia typhi and Rickettsia felis for example), like Xenopsylla cheopis. By the way, as I am deeply interested in microscopy I noticed that Rickettsia bacterii are Gram negative and can be colored by Giemsa. Will it give something if I put an entire Leptopsylla segnis in Giemsa ? Oups… (maybe it is not worth a try ?)

Another stupid questions, probably without answer : what is the utility of the two spiniform setae on the margin of the cephalic capsule ?

This flea seems to be very well spread, wherever mice are present.

Main caracters :

  • Genal comb made of 4 spines,
  • Pronotal comb made of about 20 spines,
  • Eye vestigial,
  • Frons angular with 2 spiniform setae,
  • Interantennal suture present,
  • In female, bulga about one and a half times longer than hilla.

Synonymy :

  • Pulex segnis, Pulex musculi, Ctenopsylla musculi, Ctenopsylla segnis.

Hosts :

  • Primary host : Mus domesticus, Rattus rattus
  • Secondary host : Mus spretus, Mastomys natalensis, Rattus norvegicus
  • Occasionnal host : Apodemus sylvaticus, Eliomys quercinus, Clethhrionomys glareolus, Pitymys subterraneus, Neomys fodiens, Gerbillus sp, Meriones grandis…