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Insects 'Down Under'– Diversity, endemism and evolution of the Australian insect fauna: examples from select orders


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Austin, AD, Yeates, DK, Cassis, G, Fletcher, MJ, La Salle, J, Lawrence, JF, McQuillan, PB, Mound, LA, Bickel, DJ, Gullan, PJ, Hales, DF and Taylor, GS 2004 , 'Insects 'Down Under'– Diversity, endemism and evolution of the Australian insect fauna: examples from select orders' , Australian Journal of Entomology, vol. 43, no. 3 , pp. 216-234 , doi: 10.1111/j.1326-6756.2004.00448.x.

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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

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Austin, AD and Yeates, DK and Cassis, G and Fletcher, MJ and La Salle, J and Lawrence, JF and McQuillan, PB and Mound, LA and Bickel, DJ and Gullan, PJ and Hales, DF and Taylor, GS
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Entomology
ISSN: 1326-6756
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/j.1326-6756.2004.00448.x
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