By J.D. Holloway
I spent 4 months in New Caledonia in 1971 with the item of constructing a quantitative survey of the night-flying macrolepidoptera with light-traps and an review of the Rhopalocera and microlepidoptera. This fieldwork was once financed via a central authority Grant-in-Aid for clinical Investigations adminis tered by means of the Royal Society, and via a provide from the Godman Fund. I dedicated yet another 3 weeks to sampling on Norfolk I. , and, with assistance from neighborhood naturalists, Mr. and Mrs. F. JOWETT, used to be in a position to produce an in depth account of the biogeography and ecology of the moth fauna (HOLLOWAY, 1977). This booklet is an account of the result of the hot Caledonian paintings, including reports of the geology, phytogeography and common zoogeography pre sented as history for the Lepidoptera fauna and its geography. prior paintings at the macroheterocera, basically papers by way of VIETTE (1948- 1971), had recorded no longer many greater than 100 species, a truly low overall contemplating the realm of the island relative to that of the Fiji staff the place the moths have been being studied through Dr. G. S. ROBINSON whilst the hot Caledonian excursion used to be on the drawing board. The Fijian fauna then promised ponder ably to exceed 300 species. obviously many extra species awaited discovery in New Caledonia.
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Extra resources for A Survey of the Lepidoptera, Biogeograhy and Ecology of New Caledonia
Australia and Tasmania. Half the species overall are shared with those areas. 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 present situation may then have arisen through the differential extinction of conifer groups in each hemisphere, the differentiation possibly being due to some ecological factor such as the difference in the proportion of maritime to continental habitats in the two hemispheres. Elements of the northern conifer flora continued to be lost in the Tertiary but the Podocarpaceae and Araucariaceae persisted in isolation in the south. A similar pattern of replacement by radiation from the tropics of more competitive taxa could have occurred with the early angiosperms.
There were no dipterocarps or Pandanaceae. The Neogene floras were more typically Asian with dipterocarps occurring in southern India in the Miocene. Present day podocarps in India are probably of Malesian derivation. Biological exchange with Asia was therefore possible from the Late Oligocene at least. However, the Siwalik flora (S. Himalaya, Miocene to Pliocene) is indicative of a dry interior to the continent at that time (AXELROD, 1974) which may have precluded significant radiation of Asian rainforest and its associated fauna in India.