Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #220463

Title: Insect Biodiversity in the Palearctic Region

item Konstantinov, Alexander - Alex

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/8/2008
Publication Date: 3/12/2009
Citation: Konstantinov, A.S., Korotyaev, B., Volkovitsh, M.G. 2009. Insect Biodiversity in the Palearctic Region. In: Foottit, R.G., Adler, P.H., editors. Insect Biodiversity: Science and Society. West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. p. 107-162.

Interpretive Summary: Insects are among the most important organisms affecting US agriculture. Many are serious pests and feed on crops destroying valuable plants. Others are important biological control agents that can be used to kill unwanted and invasive weeds. This work provides an overview of insect biological diversity for Europe, northern Asia, and northern Africa. This study will be useful to university students, biological control workers, taxonomists, ecologists, biogeographers, and anyone interested in insect biodiversity.

Technical Abstract: Insect biodiversity in the Palearctic Region is described. Palearctic occupies cold, temperate, and subtropical regions of Eurasia and Africa north of the Sahara Desert together with islands of the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Based on currently available data, there are about 200,000 species of insects occur in the Palearctic. However this is obviously a low estimate, as many new secies are being described every year. General patters of the biodiversity for Palearctic in general and also for main biogeographic subdivisions of the region, distribution of diversity in various habitats and in relations to main groups of plants (for herbivores) are provided. One of the most obvious features of insect diversity in the Palearctic is its sharp increase from north to south along latitudinal gradient, corresponding to most fundamental pattern concerning life on earth. Another most obvious feature is organization of diversity in time (seasonal prevalence) as nearly all regions of the Palearctic are subjected to dramatic seasonal changes in temperature and precipitation. Long periods of fall and winter are characterized by minimum insect activity. A table providing number of species for major insect groups in the Region is included.