- Caribbean Islands, biodiversity hot spots, beetle (1)
A summary of the endemic beetle genera of the West Indies (Insecta: Coleoptera); bioindicators of the evolutionary richness of this Neotropical archipelago
Stewart B. Peck
Daniel E. Perez-Gelabert
- The Caribbean Islands (or the West Indies) are recognized as one of the leading global biodiversity hot
spots. This is based on data on species, genus, and family diversity for vascular plants and non-marine vertebrates. This
paper presents data on genus level endemicity for the most speciose (but less well publicised) group of terrestrial
animals: the beetles, with 205 genera (in 25 families) now recognized as being endemic (restricted) to the West Indies.
The predominant families with endemic genera are Cerambycidae (41), Chrysomelidae (28), Curculionidae (26), and
Staphylinidae (25). This high level of beetle generic endemicity can be extrapolated to suggest that a total of about
700 genera of all insects could be endemic to the West Indies. This far surpasses the total of 269 endemic genera of all
plants and non-marine vertebrates, and reinforces the biodiversity richness of the insect fauna of the West Indies.