Jan 072016
 

Synopsyllus estradei is a species of Siphonaptera from Pulicidae family, identified for the first time in Madagascar by professor J. M. Klein in 1964. The prepared slide is from MNHN, Paris collection.

This species was collected in a nest identified probably as a nest of Eliurus (rodent in the family of Nesomyidae).

 

At the time of discovery of this new species, it was the third species of Synopsyllus known :

  1. Synopsyllus fonquerniei (on Ratus ratus)
  2. Synopsyllus smiti (on Macrotarsomys ingens)
  3. Synopsyllus estradei (probable on Eliurus sp.)
  4. Synopsyllus robici (discovered after S. estradei)
  5. Synopsyllus girardi (discovered after S. estradei)

Publication of the description of the species available on the net :

UNE NOUVELLE ESPECE DE SYNOPSYLLUS (INSECTA, SIPHONAPTERA) DE LA FORET ORIENTALE DE MADAGASCAR, S. estradei par J. M. KLEIN (Bulletin de la Société de Pathologie exotique. Extrait du tome 57, no I, Janvier-Février 1964)

The genus Synopsyllus has been first described by Wagner and Roubaud, in 1932. It is characterised by :

  • Metasternum and metepisternum fully fused without vestigial suture (this is also the case for Synosternus Jordan, 1925),
  • Anterior occipital seta (not present in Synosternus),
  • Spermatheca has much bigger size than the one of Synosternus.

The spermatheca of Synopsyllus estradei is anyway quite different from the other species of Synopsyllus.

The new species was dedicated to Mr. Dr. F. ESTRADE Chief Director of Hygiene and Prevention  (SGHMP) and Director of the Institute of Social Hygiene of the Malagasy Republic.

You have on the following link a comparison with related genera Synosternus. I promise I will explain more in details in future, what means exactly fusion of metasternum and metepisternum, which could sound really esoteric for most of people !

I hope you will apppreciate the beauty of these photos ?

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Dec 262015
 

With a certain emotion, I present you today a prepared slide of N. C. Rothschild done in 1911. This prepared slide is extracted from MNHN collection, Paris.

If you are wondering who was Nathaniel Charles Rothschild please consult Wikipedia.

As it is an ancient prepared slide, obviously the quality is slightly different, but it remains a very good one. Canada Balsam is a real permanent mounting media, slides can survive centuries in such media.

 

The current flea is Synosternus pallidus male, parasite found on squirrels in Soudan. Synosternus pallidus was firstly described by Taschenberg in 1880 !

Types are deposited at BMNH. This species belongs to the Pulicidae family.

Morphology

One of its characteristic is to have segment IV of tasus III, as long as large, as you can see it on the last picture here under.

Synonyms for the species

  • Pulex pallidus
  • Xenopsylla pallidus
  • Synosternus pallidus infestus

Hosts

It seems that hosts specificity is not that clear for Synosternus pallidus. Unless found in desertic environment, it is not a Gerbillid flea according to Professor Beaucournu. Klein (1975) and Lewis (1982) consider that primary host would be Paraechinus (desert hedgehog). Synosternus pallidus can be found in hen houses, can bite occasionnaly human, dogs and cats.

Professor Beaucournu identified this species on Jackal (Canis aureus), hare (Lepus), fennec (Fenecus zerda) and fox (Vulpes vulpes). It seems to be frequent on Canidae, like Archaeopsylla erinacei in Europe.

Distribution

It seems to have a very wide distribution from Northern Africa (Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunesia…) until Central Asia.

Diseases

Last but not least, this species would be a very good vector of pest !

My thanks goes to Emmanuel Delfosse and Christophe Daugeron from MNHN, Paris.

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Dec 212015
 

Here are microscopic photos taken from a microscopic mount of the MNHN, Paris. This mite is Listrophoroides (Marquesania) papuanus, identified by Alex Fain from Tropical & Medical Institute of Anvers. This fur mite parasites pale field rat, known as Rattus tunneyi.

The pale field rat, also known as Tunney’s rat, is a nocturnal herbivore endemic in Australia. It once occupied almost all areas of mainland Australia, but is now found only in tall grasslands in northern Australia.

This mite species belongs to the family of Atopomelidae. Mites of the family Atopomelidae (Astigmata) are permanent parasites of small mammals. The Atopomelidae include 46 genera and about 360 species. The genus Listrophoroides (Hirst) is the largest genus of the family, including 16 subgenera and more than 150 species (Fain 1981).

 

The inscriptions on the slide shows :

  • Name of species : Listrophoroides (Marquesania) papuanus
  • Name of host : Rattus tunneyi
  • Locality : Port Warrender, Kimberly Exp.
  • Date of collection : 30-X-1976
  • Reference of slide : 50G11
  • Collection : Institut Tropical Médical d’Anvers
  • Sex : female
  • Determinator : A. Fain

If you are intereted in such species, please refer to this publication :

We can read the following concerning Marquesania subgenus :

The species of this subgenus are permanent parasites living in the fur of rats (Rodentia:Murinae) in the Oriental region, Australia and New Guinea. The atopomelids are more commensals than true parasites, because they feed on the secretions of hair glands and, probably, do not damage their hosts. After the present revision, this subgenus includes 13 species.

If you have occasion to collect such mite, we would be happy to receive some samples. We can also bring you some expertise in determination of such parasite.

Our thanks go to MNHN Paris for granting a free access to the collection. Congratulations to A. Fain and Bochkov for their great job on this genus and family !

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Oct 152015
 
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May 052015
 
Leptopsylla (Leptopsylla) segnis - the mouse flea

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 […]