Harrison, R. L., M. J. Patrick, and C. G. Schmitt. 2003. Foxes, fleas, and plague in New Mexico. The Southwestern Naturalist 48(4): 720- 722.


Robert L. Harrison
Michael J. Parrick
C. Gregory Schmitt

We identified species of fleas found in New Mexico on kit foxes (Vulpes macrotis), swift foxes (V. velox), red foxes (V. vulpes), and gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus). Pulex irritans and P. simulans were the fleas found most commonly. All species found, except 2, are known to carry plague, and we found fleas on foxes throughout New Mexico capable of carrying plague, which occurs in every county of New Mexico. Thus, every fox in New Mexico should be considered a potential carrier of plague.


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