Kit Fox Flea Relationships on the Naval Petroleum Reserves, Kern County, California
Egoscue, Harold J.
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Of 310 collections totaling 4490 individuals of seven species of fleas from kit foxes in the Elk Hills area, southern San Joaquin Valley, California, 93.16% were the introduced Echidnophaga gallinacea; 5.1% Cediopsylla inaequalis; 1.25% Pulex irritans; 0.2% Thrassis augustsoni; 0.16% Odontopsyllus dentatus; 0.07% Meringis californicus; and 0.07% Hoplopsyllus anomalus. Circumstantial evidence based on the flea data suggest that lagomorphs make up most of the prey of Vulpes macrotis mutica, and that the desert cottontail may be more important than the black-tailed hare in the diet of this fox. The data also suggest that in Kern County the ratio of Pulex to Echidnophaga on kit foxes changes in favor of Pulex as the elevation increases.