Science: Fleas of the Golden West

A siphonapterist (flea expert) is among the most fortunate of all scientists: his prey is both abundant and varied. Recently the Iowa State College Press published a handsome book (Fleas of Western North America, by Dr. Clarence Andresen Hubbard, former professor of Pacific University) which proves that western U.S. siphonapterists are the most fortunate of all. With 66 genera and 230 species and subspecies of fleas, the U.S. West, says Dr. Hubbard, "is indeed a flea collector's paradise."

One of the things about fleas which siphonapterists admire is their perfect adaptation to their way of life. They have a high, thin chassis,...

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