0078. Beetle species diversity in the Lesser Antilles islands: How many species are really there?

Stewart B. Peck


Recent extensive and intensive field work by the team of M. A. Ivie on the Lesser Antillean island of Montserrat suggests that a mean of 827 beetle species may be expected on that island. This datum makes possible the generation of hypotheses of the probable beetle species diversity on other islands of the Lesser Antilles as a function of the areas of the islands. Figures are given for the presently known, estimated total, and estimated number of unknown species for each principal island. This predicts that many hundreds (if not thou- sands) of beetle species remain to be discovered. This is of importance to land management and conservation interests on these rapidly changing and ecologically fragile islands.

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