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By J.D. Holloway

I spent 4 months in New Caledonia in 1971 with the thing of creating a quantitative survey of the night-flying macrolepidoptera with light-traps and an review of the Rhopalocera and microlepidoptera. This fieldwork used to be financed by way of a central authority Grant-in-Aid for medical Investigations adminis­ tered through the Royal Society, and through a provide from the Godman Fund. I committed yet another 3 weeks to sampling on Norfolk I. , and, with the aid of neighborhood naturalists, Mr. and Mrs. F. JOWETT, was once in a position to produce an in depth account of the biogeography and ecology of the moth fauna (HOLLOWAY, 1977). This ebook is an account of the result of the recent Caledonian paintings, including studies of the geology, phytogeography and normal zoogeography pre­ sented as history for the Lepidoptera fauna and its geography. prior paintings at the macroheterocera, basically papers via VIETTE (1948- 1971), had recorded no longer many greater than 100 species, a truly low overall contemplating the world of the island relative to that of the Fiji team the place the moths have been being studied via Dr. G. S. ROBINSON whilst the hot Caledonian excursion was once on the drafting board. The Fijian fauna then promised examine­ ably to exceed 300 species. obviously many extra species awaited discovery in New Caledonia.

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A Survey of the Lepidoptera, Biogeograhy and Ecology of New Caledonia

I spent 4 months in New Caledonia in 1971 with the thing of constructing a quantitative survey of the night-flying macrolepidoptera with light-traps and an evaluation of the Rhopalocera and microlepidoptera. This fieldwork was once financed by way of a central authority Grant-in-Aid for clinical Investigations adminis­ tered via the Royal Society, and by way of a supply from the Godman Fund.

Extra info for A Survey of the Lepidoptera, Biogeograhy and Ecology of New Caledonia

Sample text

But this was suggested to be a recent trend by BROWNLIE, spores from the source areas possibly being carried over long distances by the strong westerly upper winds (discussed by HOLLOWAY (1977)). The Loyalty Is. have some thirty species, a typical weed flora with none of the New Caledonian endemic groups. Of New Caledonian fern species 42% are endemic and one quarter of these are truly distinct, the rest being mostly of Malesian derivation with minor diversification as in Fiji. In the lindsaeoid ferns there is a cytologically distinct old group that is associated with the ultramafics and other poor soils and a more modern Malesian group associated with richer soils on sedimentary rock, a trend that is found generally throughout the flora.

Lord Howe I. also has a predominantly Australian fern flora. It has some endemic development in the Hymenophyllaceae, a phenomenon associated only with the older areas of the Pacific (E. Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia and, to a much lesser extent, Fiji). BROWNLIE divided the Pacific fern floras into four main elements: an ancient group of primitive families, relics of an old worldwide flora, that persists in New Caledonia and New Zealand; an intermediate flora, possibly derived at an early stage from Malesia, including the lindsaeoids and the Hymenophyllaceae mentioned, now based in E.

The climate over the tropical Pacific during the glaciations may have been much drier than it is today (QUINN, 1972). The intensification of oceanic circulation and the land exposed by the fall in sea-level may have led to meteorological conditions favouring the persistence of a dry zone across the Pacific. The extensive arid zone of Australia probably experienced its greatest increase during the Pleistocene (GILL, 1961), though BEARD (1977) considered it to have developed gradually through the Tertiary.

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