Oct 152015

Hello world, here is a female of Doratopsylla dasycnema cuspis, which can be considered as the flea of the common shrew (Sorex araneus) ! This flea is belonging to the family of Ctenophtalmidae.

Doratopsylla dasycnema cuspis Rothschild, 1915 is considered as a valid subspecies (cf Fauna Europea). The types are located at the British Museum of National History, obviously as firstly described by Rothschild. It is a flea encountered in South East of Europe (Italy, part of France,…).


  • Sternum VII is shown here below with nor sinus (like for Doratopsylla dasycnema dasycnema), neither incision (like for Doratopsylla dasycnema giloti) at its posterior margin.
  • The genal comb has 4 spines directed backwards, the last one being slightly curved upwards.
  • The pronotal comb has 16 spines.
  • Even if on my photo here below the spermatheca is a little bit smashed, I can clearly see punctuations on it, and not striations as represented for Doratopsylla dasycnema dasycnema in “Les puces de France et du bassin méditerranéen occidental“.



  • Dasy means thick and cnema means leg. Much probably this name of species was given considering the fact that it has thicker legs than other ones ?
  • Cuspis means tip. The name of this subspecies is possibly linked with the form of the posterior margin of Sternum VII ?

Here below a list of synonyms and hosts according to litterature on the subject.

Synonyms for the species

  • Doratopsylla cuspis
  • Doratopsylla bifida


  • Main hosts : Sorex araneus, Sorex alpinus, Crocidura russula, Crocidura leucodon, Crocidura suaveolens, Neomys fodiens
  • Secondary host : Talpa europea, Talpa caeca, Talpa romana, Talpa stankovici
  • Occasionnal host : Mus domesticus, Erinaceus europaeus, Apodemus sylvaticus, Clethrionomys glareolus, Microtus nivalis

Other subspecies

  • Doratopsylla dasycnema dasycnema is known from Europe, sternum VII has a sinus at the posterior margin.
  • Doratopsylla dasycnema giloti is known from Spain, sternum VII has an incision at the posterior margin.

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