A faunistic analysis of Macrolepidoptera from complex notophyll vine forest, North Queensland, Australia
Collections of Macrolepidoptera were made in complex notophyll vine forest and its derivatives growing on basalt soils near Atherton, Queensland, Australia. Light trapping was conducted over two periods of about 3 weeks each in the wet and dry seasons of 1996-97. A total of 15452 specimens belonging to 835 species were taken. Almost 94% of species could be identified to genus, with 72% determined to species level. The species collected represent about 17% of the total Australian fauna in families considered, suggesting between 20% and 30% of the Australian fauna occurs in this habitat type. The proportions of major families in the sample reflected the composition of the Australian fauna, but at a finer level of classification an imbalance was evident, with entire tribes and even subfamilies absent. These were mostly those associated with eucalypt forest or with principally southern distributions. The fauna was characterized by a strong Oriental region element but, at least in the Geometridae, there was an equally significant endemic element. In order to understand properly the biogeographic implications of this study, the need for similar studies in other nearby habitats, especially lowland mesophyll rain forest, is indicated.
Journal of Natural History
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