, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 213–218 | Cite as

Recolonization of the Krakataus by Hymenoptera and Isoptera (Insecta)

  • Yamane Seiki 
  • Abe Takuya 
  • Yukawa Junichi 


The aculeate and isopteran fauna was surveyed in 1982 on the Krakatau islands, all the biota of which had been exterminated by the great eruption in 1883.

The pattern of colonization of these insects (wasps, bees and termites) and the present state of their faunas are discussed based upon our 1982 survey and those made earlier. Species numbers varied only slightly between the four islands in spite of their differing sizes. This may be because the islands are situated close to each other and most of the aculeates prefer open sites rather than forests.

The species/time curve for the Aculeata as a whole was still rising in 1982. However, in some groups flattening of the curve had occurred, and a comparison of species number in social wasps and bees, for example, between Java, Krakatau and Sumatra suggested the occurrence of “supersaturation”. Cumulative species numbers was distinctly larger than actual number in the three most recent surveys showing that several species must have become extinct in each intersurvey period. Species turnover associated with habitat changes may have occurred for the whole island group and on particular islands.

Analysis of the colour pattern of the Krakatau populations of certain species with different geographical races on Java and Sumatra showed that the Javan elements have a slight preponderance over the Sumatran ones on the Krakataus.

Some examples of faunal disharmony were found; the most remarkable was the almost complete lack of species of swarm-founding social wasps and bees, and of ground-nesting termites probably reflecting their poor dispersal ability across the sea barrier.


Supersaturation Recent Survey Species Number Colour Pattern Dispersal Ability 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yamane Seiki 
    • 1
  • Abe Takuya 
    • 2
  • Yukawa Junichi 
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BiologyKagoshima UniversityKagoshimaJapan
  2. 2.Ecological Research CenterKyoto UniversityOtsuJapan
  3. 3.Laboratory of Applied EntomologyKagoshima UniversityKagohimaJapan

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