Synosternus spp

From Dog
Adult Synosternus pallidus

Synosternus spp are a common hematophagous parasitic rhopalopsyllid flea which is commonly found on rodents but has been reported on hunting dogs[1] or dogs living in close proximity to domestic rabbits.

These fleas, primarily a parasite of small mammals, infect dogs as an accidental host[2].

Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:

  • Synosternus pallidus[3]

Clinical signs include pruritus and localized dermatitis associated with flea activity.

Transmission of Rickettsia spp has been reported[3].

Treatment is usually effective with a range of insecticidal drugs such as fipronil and permethrins.


  1. Durden LA et al (2004) Ectoparasites and other epifaunistic arthropods of sympatric cotton mice and golden mice: comparisons and implications for vector-borne zoonotic diseases. J Parasitol 90(6):1293-1297
  2. Millán J et al (2007) Ectoparasites of the endangered Iberian lynx Lynx pardinus and sympatric wild and domestic carnivores in Spain. Med Vet Entomol 21(3):248-254
  3. 3.0 3.1 Roucher C et al (2012) A new Rickettsia species found in fleas collected from human dwellings and from domestic cats and dogs in Senegal. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 12(5):360-365