buckland (you@somehost.somedomain)
18 Jan 1995 12:34:59 GMT

A question regarding the biogeography of the human flea, Pulex irritans.
P irritans belongs to a genus which is primarily C & S American, but appears
fossil by the late Neolithic in W Europe (Skara Brae), presumably have moved
from its primary host (?guinea pig) to man and northwards in furs by gift exchange
through Eurasia. The question is: if this is the case, did isolated human
populations, in particular, Australian aborigines, have fleas, before
European contact and are there any early discriptions which might provide
that information?