Arthropod Ecology of South Victoria Land1

  1. J. Linsley Gressitt
  1. Heinz Janetschek

Published Online: 21 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/AR010p0205

Entomology of Antarctica

Entomology of Antarctica

How to Cite

Janetschek, H. (1967) Arthropod Ecology of South Victoria Land1, in Entomology of Antarctica (ed J. L. Gressitt), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/AR010p0205

Author Information

  1. Zoological Institute of the University of Innsbruck, Austria

Publication History

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

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875901107

Online ISBN: 9781118668696



  • Amundsen-Scott Station;
  • Arthropod ecology;
  • Bionomics;
  • Diel temperature readings;
  • McMurdo Sound area;
  • “Oceanographic seasons”;
  • South Victoria Land;
  • Structure resistance of environment


This paper concentrates on the McMurdo area between 76°S and 78°S and includes comparisons with the Cape Hallett area in the north and data on the Central Antarctic to 86°S. Physiography, geology, quaternary glaciations, soils, macro- and microflora, vegetation, climatography, and microclimatological data are summarized and discussed with special regard to arthropod ecology. In general, soil life ceases to exist in areas where microtemperatures are too low to free soil moisture (sites near the polar plateau), or where the level of the ice-cemented layer is too deep for melting cycles to penetrate into those soil depths (dry valley situation). The terrestrial fauna of south Victoria Land (and Central Antarctica) is composed of about 5 species of mites, 6 of springtails, 10 tardigrades, and an unknown number of protozoans, nematodes, and rotifers. The scarce information on bionomics, especially of the arthropods, is summarized, e.g., life cycles, number of generations, seasonal occurrence, life forms, food preferences, influence of light, pH and salinity, micro-environment temperatures, and results of experiments on temperature tolerances and preferenda, importance of relative humidity and soil moisture, etc. Another part deals with the two differentiated ecosystems, their horizontal and vertical distributions, food chains, biomasses of arthropods in relation to latitude and altitude, and with the possible role of parts of the Transantarctic Mountains as a belt of “massifs de refuge” acting as centers of preservation of a very impoverished prepleistocenic life. Also discussed is the possibility of using the principle of allometric growth with regard to series of arthropod communities.