Irina S. Khokhlova

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We studied flea assemblages on rodents in different habitats of the Ramon erosion cirque in the Negev Desert to examine whether host-habitat relations influence flea spatial distribution. Eleven flea species parasitizing 12 rodent species were recorded. There was significant positive relationship between flea species richness and body mass of the host(More)
Bionomics of fleas (Siphonaptera) parasitizing rodent hosts, mostly the gerbil Gerbillus dasyurus (Wagner) and the jird Meriones crassus Sundevall (Gerbillidae), were investigated in the central Negev desert of Israel. Populations were sampled weekly (by Sherman trapping of hosts) from August 2000 to July 2001. Among 1055 fleas of nine species captured,(More)
Parasite species can adapt to ecological, behavioral, physiological and biochemical traits of a particular host species. The flea Parapulex chephrenis occurs on the spiny mouse Acomys cahirinus, but does not occur on a co-existing gerbil, Gerbillus dasyurus. To test the hypothesis that the host species affects feeding parameters of a host-specific flea, we(More)
We investigated seasonality of gender differences in the patterns of flea infestation in nine rodent species to test if sex-biased parasitism in terms of mean abundance, species richness, prevalence and the level of aggregation (a) varies among hosts and between seasons, and (b) is linked to sexual size dimorphism. Sexual size differences were significant(More)
Opportunistic parasite species, capable of exploiting several different host species, do not achieve the same abundance on all these hosts. Parasites achieve maximum abundance on their principal host species, and lower abundances on their auxiliary host species. Taxonomic relatedness between the principal and auxiliary host species may determine what(More)
Flea assemblages of Meriones crassus Sundevall and Gerbillus dasyurus Wagner in different habitats in the Negev Highlands of Israel were studied to determine how flea abundance and species composition on the same host change among habitats, and the environmental parameters determining specific composition of flea assemblage. Fleas of the same species(More)
Abstract Across different taxa, networks of mutualistic or antagonistic interactions show consistent architecture. Most networks are modular, with modules being distinct species subsets connected mainly with each other and having few connections to other modules. We investigate the phylogenetic relatedness of species within modules and whether a(More)
We studied the effect of air temperature and RH on the survival time of adult Xenopsylla conformis Wagner, 1903 and Xenopsylla ramesis Rothschild, 1904 fleas during starvation to explain the paratopic habitat distribution of these species on opposite ends of a precipitation and temperature gradient in the Negev Highlands, Israel. We hypothesized that the(More)
Fleas consume and digest blood from their hosts. We hypothesized that the energy costs of digestion of blood by fleas is dependent on the host species. To test this hypothesis, we studied CO2 emission, a measure of energy expenditure, during digestion of a blood meal taken by Parapulex chephrenis from a preferred (Acomys cahirinus) and a non-preferred(More)
The survival of immatture fleas at 25 and 28 degrees C and 40, 55, 75, and 92% RH was studied to test the hypothesis that the difference in microclimatic preferences determines habitat distribution of Xenopsylla conformis Wagner, 1903 and Xenopsylla ramesis Rothschild, 1904. Survival of X. conformis eggs did not depend on either temperature or humidity or(More)