By: Pierre Moret
306 pages, 3 colour plates, 25 colour photos, 398 b/w figures
Language: Spanish with English summary
Complete descriptions, keys to all the taxa. A new subtribe is presently described, as well as a new subgenus, 57 new species, 5 new subspecies, as well as many nomenclatural changes.
This book deals with the taxonomy, ecology, biodiversity and biogeography of the Carabid beetles that live in the paramo of Ecuadorian Andes. Paramo is a mountain ecosystem formed by large areas of tussock grasses, cushion plants and sclerophylous shrubs, above the present timber line (3400-3600 m) and up to the snow line.
204 species are reviewed and arranged in 16 genera and 8 tribes (Migadopini, Bembidiini, Trechini, Platyinini, Pterostichini, Dercylini, Harpalini and Lebiini). The nomenclatural changes include one new subtribe, one new subgenus, 57 new species, 5 new subspecies and 5 new synonymies. Identification keys are provided for the genera, the species groups and all the species. Full-body habitus figures are given for 103 species, partial habitus figures for 54 species, and macrophotographs for 24 species in three color plates, along with 87 location maps. Biotopes are illustrated by 22 color photographs.
A detailed set of faunistic and ecological data is provided for 44 mountain areas throughout Ecuador, with lists of species and informations about their abundance, habitat preference and altitudinal range. Carabid assemblages demonstrate the importance of the lower superpramo (4100-4400 m) as a zone of relatively high biodiversity and contribute to the current debate about the origin of grass paramo ("pajonal") in equatorial Andes. Regarding conservation issues, the composition of Carabid communities provides precise evidence for an estimation of the degree of perturbation of grassland habitats, or for identification of diversity hotspots within the paramo ecosystem. Most of the paramo Carabids are micropterous endemic species, restricted to very small montane areas. Based on their distribution patterns, five areas of endemism are distinguished: the Carchi area, the Pichincha-Chimborazo area, the Cajas area, the Saraguro area and the Loja area. These results are congruent with phytogeographic data. Hypotheses are built about the origin of this fauna and a comparison is made with other high altitude grassland Carabid faunas.
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