The terrestrial arthropod fauna of Cierva Point SSSI, Danco Coast, northern Antarctic Peninsula

We report the composition of terrestrial arthropod collections made at Cierva Point Site of Special Scientific Interest, Dance Coast (northern Antarctic Peninsula, 64 degrees 10'S - 60 degrees 57'W), during the 1994/5 and 1995/6 austral summers. A total of 15 free-living micro-arthropod species were found in hand collections and heat extractions of 12 different substrate types, including one Diptera, three Collembala and 11 Acari. In addition, one vertebrate parasitic tick was recorded (Acari, Metastigmata), one probably introduced ''show scorpion fly'' (Insecta, Mecoptera), and at least one species of Astigmata (Acari), which may be either parasitic or nidicolous. Greatest diversity was found in mosses-and algal mats (13 species), although within individual samples it was similar (5-6 species per sample) from most low-altitude vegetated or open habitats. Greatest population densities were recorded from mats of the alga, Prasiola crispa. With the exception of vertebrate-associated species, which were obtained from nest material or in the vicinity of bird colonies, mast micro-arthropods were generally distributed, although with widely-varying abundance. Species diversity was slightly lower than, but similar to, that obtained in recent detailed studies of other sites in the maritime Antarctic. This indicates a terrestrial arthropod fauna representative of the maritime Antarctic in general, although two species, the collembolan Isotoma octooculata and the oribatid mite Globoppia loxolineata, were present more widely than reported eleswhere.


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Authors: Convey, P. ORCIDORCID record for P. Convey, Quintana, R.D.

On this site: Peter Convey
1 March, 1997
European Journal of Soil Biology / 33