Zoogeography of Caribbean Insects
Ed. by Liebherr, James K.
Aims and Scope
Because historical biogeography—the study of historical causes of biotic distributions—is a comparative science, one must draw on data from many different disciplines. This book brings together for the first time the results of studies on a variety of insect groups native to the islands of the Caribbean, and is intended as an early progress report on the use of insects in biogeographical research from this area.
The Caribbean has been of great interest to zoogeographers because of its geologic position and history, and because the fauna is of limited diversity relative to mainland America. This limited diversity coupled with the accessibility of the islands has resulted in the Caribbean fauna being relatively well known compared to other Neotropical faunas. Intriguing questions include how and when the West Indian islands became populated, how the fauna and flora of the islands relate to those of the continents, and whether the Caribbean islands served as a dispersal corridor between the Americas.
As the interpretation of biographic patterns and knowledge of earth history go hand in hand, this book appropriately opens with a chapter reviewing the geology of the Caribbean and its land masses, including various interpretations of plate tectonics. Eight specialists on six orders of insects then present from study sites in the Caribbean the results of their research on the biogeographic distribution and historical biogeography of their study animals. A final chapter puts into a concise framework the various methods by which taxonomists approach biogeography.
- 304 pages
- CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESS