Hectopsyllidae

Hectopsyllidae

Taxobox
name = Hectopsyllidae


image_width = 220px
image_caption = "Tunga" sp.
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Arthropoda
classis = Insecta
subclassis = Pterygota
infraclassis = Neoptera
superordo = Endopterygota
ordo = Siphonaptera
infraordo = Pulicomorpha
superfamilia = Pulicoidea
familia = Hectopsyllidae
familia_authority = Baker, 1904
subdivision_ranks = Genera
subdivision = "Tunga"
"Hectopsylla"
synonyms = Hectopsyllinae Baker, 1904 (but see text)
Sarcopsyllidae Taschenberg, 1880
Sarcopsyllinae Taschenberg, 1880
Tungidae Fox, 1925 (1880)
Tunginae Fox, 1925 (1880)

Hectopsyllidae is a small family of fleas, containing only the chigoe fleas and the sticktight fleas. They were formerly known as Tungidae, and by authorities that demote the Pulicoidea to family rank they are treated as subfamily Hectopsyllinae (formerly Tunginae). Only 2 genera with some handfuls of species are placed here nowadays, making further subdivision of the family unnecessary.Blank "et al." (2007)]

These fleas usually parasitize terrestrial mammals, and in a few cases birds and bats. The females are by and large immobile and will remain attached to the same place for prolonged periods of time, possibly until they die. "Hectopsylla narium" was found to live inside the nostrils of the Burrowing Parrot ("Cyanoliseus patagonus patagonus").

The closest living relatives of the Hectopsyllidae are the common fleas, Pulicidae. The Hectopsyllidae differ from these by the following characteristics:
* Antennal club with punctiform sensilla
* Dorsal and medial setae on the abdominal terga of the female reduced
* Left and right sensilia separated midways and with 8 sensory pits
* Proximal arm of ninth sternite lobe-shaped
* Well-sclerotized and crisply outlined lateral lamina of the aedeagal apodeme

In addition, they have reduced setae on the antennal flagellum, but this may be an adaptation bearing little phylogenetic information.

Footnotes

References

* (2007): Stick-tight fleas in the nostrils and below the tongue: evolution of an extraordinary infestation site in "Hectopsylla" (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). "Zool. J. Linn. Soc." 149(1): 117-137. doi|10.1111/j.1096-3642.2006.00239.x (HTML abstract)


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