By J.D. Holloway
I spent 4 months in New Caledonia in 1971 with the item 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 by way of the Royal Society, and via a supply from the Godman Fund. I dedicated one other 3 weeks to sampling on Norfolk I. , and, with the aid of 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 recent Caledonian paintings, including stories of the geology, phytogeography and basic zoogeography pre sented as historical past for the Lepidoptera fauna and its geography. earlier paintings at the macroheterocera, basically papers by means of VIETTE (1948- 1971), had recorded now not many greater than 100 species, a really low overall contemplating the realm of the island relative to that of the Fiji crew the place the moths have been being studied through Dr. G. S. ROBINSON while the recent Caledonian excursion used to be on the drawing board. The Fijian fauna then promised give some thought to ably to exceed 300 species. obviously many extra species awaited discovery in New Caledonia.
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Extra info for A Survey of the Lepidoptera, Biogeograhy and Ecology of New Caledonia
Even today there is considerable difference between the floral and faunal diversity of the wetter south-west part of India and Sri Lanka and the drier central and eastern parts. Some Australasian biogeographic patterns may have resulted from ecological factors rather than through differential contact of the various land areas involved. Past southern hemisphere 80ras: the fossil record The pre-contact austral flora of India is involved in the broad relationship of southern hemisphere biotas to events in the dispersal of Gondwanaland, including New Caledonia.
Thus the organisms exchanged between Australia and New Caledonia via the Chesterfield Reefs during the glaciations are likely to have been those characteristic of more arid vegetation types. E. Australia was probably much more restricted than it is today and not extending so far south. The black tropical soils supporting the dry west coast vegetation associations in New Caledonia may have evolved largely during a drier period in the past (p. 2) and these west coast habitats may have developed and been more extensive during this period.
Long distance transport of such pollen in the past cannot be ruled out. Indeed, it might be possible to explain the observations of ZAKLINSKA YA in terms of pollen brought into central Asia by monsoonal wind systems passing over a still drifting, austral, Late Cretaceous India. At the end of the Cretaceous the Australian-Antarctic flora is distinct from the Malesian (Bornean sediments; no proteaceous pollen recorded) which again appears to have had only limited exchange with the European (MULLER, 1970).