The Magnitude of Global Insect Species Richness

The Magnitude of Global Insect Species Richness Abstract: Recent suggestions that insects number tens of millions of species have received much attention. Little consideration, however, has been given to how such estimates compare with what else we know about insect species richness. Perhaps most significantly, the specialist knowledge of the taxonomic community at large has generally been ignored Collation of published and unpublished information from this source provides little to encourage belief in truly vast numbers of undescribed species of insects. For the insect groups for which figures are available, estimates of global total numbers of species are typically less than ten times the numbers of described species. Although minimum global estimates are more readily constructed than upper estimates, these figures uniformly fail to support assertions that there are 30 million or more species of insects. Rather, a figure of less than ten million seems more tenable, and one of around five million feasible. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Conservation Biology Wiley

The Magnitude of Global Insect Species Richness

Conservation Biology, Volume 5 (3) – Sep 1, 1991

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
"Copyright © 1991 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company"
ISSN
0888-8892
eISSN
1523-1739
DOI
10.1111/j.1523-1739.1991.tb00140.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract: Recent suggestions that insects number tens of millions of species have received much attention. Little consideration, however, has been given to how such estimates compare with what else we know about insect species richness. Perhaps most significantly, the specialist knowledge of the taxonomic community at large has generally been ignored Collation of published and unpublished information from this source provides little to encourage belief in truly vast numbers of undescribed species of insects. For the insect groups for which figures are available, estimates of global total numbers of species are typically less than ten times the numbers of described species. Although minimum global estimates are more readily constructed than upper estimates, these figures uniformly fail to support assertions that there are 30 million or more species of insects. Rather, a figure of less than ten million seems more tenable, and one of around five million feasible.

Journal

Conservation BiologyWiley

Published: Sep 1, 1991

References

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