1. J. Linsley Gressitt
  1. J. Linsley Gressitt

Published Online: 21 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/AR010p0001

Entomology of Antarctica

Entomology of Antarctica

How to Cite

Gressitt, J. L. (1967) Introduction, in Entomology of Antarctica (ed J. L. Gressitt), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/AR010p0001

Author Information

  1. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii 96819

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1967

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875901107

Online ISBN: 9781118668696



  • Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE);
  • Bishop Museum season;
  • Entomological exploration;
  • office of Antarctic Programs (OAP);
  • Ship trapping of air-born;
  • Terrestrial arthropod and entomological fauna


Results are presented of work, mainly by Bishop Museum, on the entomological fauna of Antarctica (south of 60°S plus the South Sandwich Is. and Bouvet I), carried out on the U.S. Antarctic Research Program, combined with some results from the British Antarctic Survey and the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions. Almost the entire entomological fauna is treated. About 145 of 158 recorded species are discussed; most of them are keyed.

The history of entomological discoveries in Antarctica spans nearly seven decades. Most of the free-living arthropods were discovered during the first and last decades of that period, but a number of the parasitic ones were brought to light in the interval between.

The terrestrial arthropod fauna of Antarctica numbers about 130 species (in addition to which there are at least 28 marine mites). About 54 of the terrestrial forms are parasitic. The groups represented in the land fauna are Acarina (67 species), Collembola (19), Mallophaga (37), Anoplura (4), Siphonaptera (1), and Diptera (2). There are some beetle records from the northern fringe which need further verification. The free-living groups represented are mostly primitive and ancient ones. Some of the 76 free-living terrestrial species probably represent pre-glacial relicts. The others might have come by dispersal in air currents, or on birds. The relative percentages in these three categories will be difficult to determine. Definite evidence that air and bird dispersal can take place has been assembled. The systematics of the groups represented are in general rather poorly known, particularly those of the far southern fauna. For these groups, comprehensive studies covering the southern ends of the southern continents, as well as antarctic-subantarctic areas, are essential to the elucidation of the origin and relationships of the antarctic fauna. The most evident relationships are with southern South America, New Zealand, and the subantarctic islands.