Differential characters of fleas of the genus Ctenocephalides (Siphonaptera, Pulicidae) obtained from dogs

  • V. Yevstafieva Poltava State Agrarian Academy
  • K. Horb Poltava State Agrarian Academy
  • V. Melnychuk Poltava State Agrarian Academy
  • O. Gorb Poltava State Agrarian Academy
Keywords: ctenocephalidosis; ectoparasites; Ctenocephalides felis; Ctenocephalides canis; identification; morphometry


Fleas are the common name of the order Siphonaptera, obligate provisional nidiculous parasites of mammals and, to a lesser extent, birds, which can also feed on humans. Fleas can cause ctenocephalidosis of dogs and are carriers of many dangerous infectious and invasive diseases. Their ability to use humans as an alternative host determines the importance of these parasites in health care. Therefore, the aim of the work was to establish morphological and metric characters of adult male and female fleas of the species Ctenocephalides felis Bouche, 1835 and C. canis Curtis, 1826, isolated from domestic dogs for species identification. Morphological studies of fleas have shown that the differential features of C. felis and C. canis include the shape of the head and anterior-dorsal cuticular notch on the head. Notably, male fleas of both species have a more rounded forehead than female fleas. The metric parameters of adult fleas can be used as additional identification features, which will increase the efficiency of differential diagnosis of parasitic insects. We found differences in male fleas by 23 parameters, of which the value of 17 parameters were smaller in C. canis specimens. Males of C. felis were 9.1–21.1% larger in total body length, lengths of head and thorax, as well as lengths of mesothorax and metathorax. Differential features included size of the teeth of the main ctenidium and pronotal ctenidium: in C. felis males all eight teeth of the main ctenidium, located on the left side, were longer by 12.7–41.7%, and the first, seventh, eighth teeth were wider by 25.4–43.0% than in C. canis. In female fleas, differences were found for 24 metric parameters, of which the values of 20 parameters were also smaller in C. canis specimens. Females of C. felis were 12.1–22.2% larger in terms of total body length, head, breast, prothorax, mesothorax, and metathorax. All their teeth of the main ctenidium were longer by 5.6–40.6%, and the first, second, third, and eighth teeth were 18.1–48.9% wider than in females of C. canis. The obtained results add to the already existing data on morphometric features of adult fleas of C. felis and C. canis species, and will allow timely and accurate diagnosis of ctenocephalidosis in dogs caused by parasites of these species.


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How to Cite
Yevstafieva, V., Horb, K., Melnychuk, V., & Gorb , O. (2021). Differential characters of fleas of the genus Ctenocephalides (Siphonaptera, Pulicidae) obtained from dogs . Regulatory Mechanisms in Biosystems, 12(1), 65-70. https://doi.org/10.15421/022110