Energy expenditure for egg production in arthropod ectoparasites: the effect of host species Academic Article uri icon


  • We studied the energy cost of egg production in two flea species (Parapulex chephrenis and Xenopsylla ramesis) feeding on principal (Acomys cahirinus and Meriones crassus, respectively) and auxiliary (M. crassus and A. cahirinus, respectively) rodent hosts. We predicted that fleas feeding on principal as compared with auxiliary hosts will (a) expend less energy for egg production;(b) produce larger eggs and (c) live longer after oviposition. Both fleas produced more eggs and spent less energy per egg when exploiting principal hosts. Parapulex chephrenis produced larger eggs after exploiting auxiliary hosts, while the opposite was true for X. ramesis. After oviposition, P. chephrenis fed on the auxiliary hosts survived for a shorter time than those fed on the principal hosts, while in X. ramesis the survival time did not differ among hosts. Our results suggested that one of the proximate …

publication date

  • January 1, 2013