The idea of an area of endemism implies that different groups of plants and animals should have largely coincident distributions. This paper analyses an area of 1152 000 km2, between parallels 21 and 32°S and meridians 70 and 53°W to examine whether a large and taxonomically diverse data set actually displays areas supported by different groups. The data set includes the distribution of 805 species of plants (45 families), mammals (25 families), reptiles (six families), amphibians (five families), birds (18 families), and insects (30 families), and is analysed with the optimality criterion (based on the notion of endemism) implemented in the program NDM/VNDM. Almost 50% of the areas obtained are supported by three or more major groups; areas supported by fewer major groups generally contain species from different genera, families, or orders.

© The Willi Hennig Society 2011.