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Analysis of insect distribution in the Northern Hemisphere by the example of the subfamily Arctiinae (Lepidoptera, Arctiidae). 2. Species level


An attempt is made to apply cluster analysis to comparison of local faunas in the Northern Hemisphere at the species level by the example of the subfamily Arctiinae (Lepidoptera, Arctiidae). A total of 200 North African, Eurasian (New Guinea inclusive), and North American (north of the United Mexican States) local faunas have been considered. It is found that the circumarctic fauna is clearly separated from the Palearctic and Nearctic ones, being closer to the former only at the level of genera. Therefore, it is not reasonable to recognize the united European-Canadian subprovince of the boreal belt according to the tiger moth faunas. The Palearctic tiger moth fauna is characterized by relatively smooth variations within the boreal, subboreal, and western subtropical belts. The fauna gradually changes from the Amur catchment area to South China, Himalayas, and India so that all fauna types of these regions are closely related to one another and, to a lesser extent, to equatorial fauna types of Southeast Asia islands. The boundary between the Palearctic and Oriental (Indo-Malayan) provinces should be drawn north of the Yangtze catchment area. The most dramatic fauna change at the species level takes place between North China and the Yangtze catchment, and at the genus level, between Northern and Northeastern China. It is reasonable to establish a broad transition area between the two zoogeographic provinces in Eastern Asia. On the grounds of the nonuniform tiger moth fauna, the South Chinese-East Himalayan subprovince should be assigned to the Oriental (Indo-Malayan) province rather than the Palearctic one, as was repeatedly proposed. The Southwest-Asian fauna (Arabian Peninsula and southern Iran) is transitional between the Palearctic, African, and Oriental ones. Many African taxa penetrate to the west and south of the Arabian Peninsula, whereas Oriental and Paleotropical species penetrate to southern Iran. It is reasonable to elevate considerably the rank of the Quinghai-Tibet highland fauna by distinguishing its habitat as a separate zoogeographic subprovince, because the similarity between this fauna type and any other Palearctic fauna at the species level is much less than between temperate faunas of the Palearctic and Nearctic. The assignment of this fauna to the Palearctic is confirmed only at the genus level.

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Original Russian Text © V.V. Dubatolov, 2006, published in Sibirskii Ekologicheskii Zhurnal, 2006, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 469–481.

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Dubatolov, V.V. Analysis of insect distribution in the Northern Hemisphere by the example of the subfamily Arctiinae (Lepidoptera, Arctiidae). 2. Species level. Contemp. Probl. Ecol. 1, 194–203 (2008).

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  • Contemporary Problem
  • Local Fauna
  • Fauna Type
  • Tiger Moth
  • Arctic Fauna