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Bulletin of the Auckland Museum

The Kermadec Islands terrestrial invertebrate fauna: Observations

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The Kermadec Islands terrestrial invertebrate fauna: Observations

Warren G.H. Chinn
Department of Conservation
16 October 2015


A sample of terrestrial invertebrates from the Kermadec Islands is reported on. Specimens were acquired as part of a marine biodiversity expedition in May 2011, consisting of: 118 recognisable taxonomic units; 12 unrecognised taxa and 47 species with new location records. Seven of the 15 Kermadec Islands were visited, including Raoul, the twin Meyers, North Chanter, Macauley, Cheeseman and L’Esperance Rock. Of these, only Raoul, the Meyers and Macauley Islands have received previous entomological attention. The level of endemism is extremely low, and most of the Kermadec Island fauna is also found elsewhere in the south Pacific which comprises highly mobile taxa. The taxonomic composition of the four most isolated islands is examined by class and shows a reduction of groups associated with land area. A species area curve suggests the Kermadec Islands are consistent with the theory of island biogeography, demonstrating a positive relationship (r2=0.4538) between the number of taxa and island size. Inter-island dispersal is examined using the percentage of shared taxa correlated with distance between islands. A weak negative relationship (-0.164) suggests that distance is a minor barrier, while habitat suitability may be more significant and could operate as an ecological filter. These interpretations highlight the value of the island group as a biogeography laboratory while reinforcing their conservation value.

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Warren G.H. Chinn. The Kermadec Islands terrestrial invertebrate fauna: Observations on the taxonomic distribution and island biogeography. Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum 20: 443:462.