Galápagos Islands Insects: Colonization, Structure, and Evolution
Reference work entry
The Galápagos archipelago of Ecuador has an interesting insect fauna that is now rather well known. The archipelago is composed of 19 islands larger than 1 km 2, with a total land area of 7,882 km 2. It is the world’s only remaining tropical oceanic archipelago that is little altered by humans. The present islands, 800–1,000 km west of the Pacific coast of Ecuador, have been available for terrestrial colonization for 3–4 million years. The archipelago is a model system for assessing the dynamics of biotic dispersal to, and differentiation on, oceanic islands. They are a natural experiment which has been running in oceanic near-isolation for about 3 Ma. Each island (Fig. 1) is a replicate of an experiment in biotic dispersal, colonization, and differentiation. The present plants and animals can be seen to be a record of the successes in dispersal to the islands, and of the dynamics of their subsequent evolution in isolation. The story has been well (or even exhaustively) reported for...
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- Peck SB (2006) The beetles of the Galápagos Archipelago, Ecuador; evolution, ecology, and diversity (Insecta: Coleoptera). Scientific Monograph Series, National Research Council Press, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 313 ppGoogle Scholar
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