Zoological Studies

Vol. 60, 2021

(update: 2021.01.19; 03.26)

Beetle Diversity Across Micro-habitats on Lizard Island Group (Great Barrier Reef, Australia)

John J. McCormack1 and Darko D. Cotoras2,*


1School for International Training (SIT) Study Abroad, 1 Kipling Road, Brattleboro, Vermont, USA. E-mail: jjm2ug@virginia.edu (McCormack)
2Entomology Department, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Dr., Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, USA. *Correspondence: E-mail: darkocotoras@gmail.com (Cotoras)

Received 16 May 2020 / Accepted 31 December 2020
Communicated by Jen-Pan Huang

The beetles (Coleoptera) of Lizard Island group, a complex of small granitic islands on the Great Barrier Reef, have never been systematically assessed. In April 2019, we conducted the first survey of the island group across different micro-habitats. We specifically aimed to determine which beetle families are the most diverse, and how beetle diversity varies across the island group. We sampled several sites on seven large collection areas using a variety of methods: pitfall traps, beating sheet, sifting leaf litter, and active night and day collection. Our sampling yielded 108 beetle morphospecies representing at least 21 families. The most diverse families on Lizard Island group were Curculionidae, Carabidae, Scarabaeidae, Tenebrionidae, and Cerambycidae, in general accordance with global patterns in Coleoptera diversity. The families Chrysomelidae, Staphylinidae, and Buprestidae were found to be proportionally less diverse on the island group than on mainland Australia, though Australia as a whole is of limited value as a reference. Beetle diversity varied across both large-scale collection areas and small-scale collection sites on Lizard Island group. As expected, greater habitat complexity and vegetation diversity corresponded with greater beetle diversity, though these patterns might be biased due to the temporal and spatial limits of our sampling. We hope this preliminary survey will facilitate further research on Lizard Island group, taking advantage of the research facilities on the island and the possibility of establishing long-term studies.

Key words: Continental islands, Great Barrier Reef, Micro-habitats, Taxonomic variation.

Citation: McCormack JJ, Cotoras DD. 2021. Beetle diversity across micro-habitats on Lizard Island group (Great Barrier Reef, Australia). Zool Stud 60:12. doi:10.6620/ZS.2021.60-12.

Supplementary materials: Table S1Table S2