Insects 'Down Under' - Diversity, endemism and evolution of the Australian insect fauna

Examples from select orders

Andrew D. Austin*, David K. Yeates, Gerasimos Cassis, Murray J. Fletcher, John La Salle, John F. Lawrence, Peter B. McQuillan, Laurence A. Mound, Dan J. Bickel, Penny J. Gullan, Dinah F. Hales, Gary S. Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

93 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Australian insect fauna is highly endemic and characterised by numerous unique higher-level taxa. In addition, a number of groups are noticeably absent or depauperate on the continent. Many groups found in Australia show characteristic Gondwanan distribution patterns on the southern continents. There are extensive radiations on the plant families Myrtaceae and Mimosaceae, a specialised arid/semiarid fauna, and diverse taxa associated with rainforests and seasonally wet tropical regions. The fauna is also poorly studied, particularly when compared with the flora and vertebrate groups. However, studies in the last two decades have provided a more comprehensive picture of the size of the fauna, relationships, levels of endemism, origins and its evolution. Here we provide an overview of these and other aspects of Australian insect diversity, focusing on six groups, the Thysanoptera and the five megadiverse orders Hemiptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-234
Number of pages19
JournalAustralian Journal of Entomology
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2004

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    Austin, A. D., Yeates, D. K., Cassis, G., Fletcher, M. J., La Salle, J., Lawrence, J. F., ... Taylor, G. S. (2004). Insects 'Down Under' - Diversity, endemism and evolution of the Australian insect fauna: Examples from select orders. Australian Journal of Entomology, 43(3), 216-234. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1326-6756.2004.00448.x