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Language: English with bilingual summary in English and Maori
There may be around 37 000 described species of Heteroptera or true bugs worldwide, and possibly another 25 000 species remaining to be described. The New Zealand fauna, currently comprising 29 families, 136 genera, and 305 species, may be relatively small compared with larger regions, but New Zealand is a biodiversity "hot spot" for true bugs, as 82% of its known species do not occur anywhere else in the world.
The New Zealand fauna of Heteroptera is mostly terrestrial, with about 20 species belonging to aquatic and semi aquatic families. It is relatively easy to recognise true bugs on the basis of three main characteristics, but they may be more difficult to identify at a species level. In addition, information on New Zealand true bugs accumulated over the last 150 years is not easily accessible, and until now no up-to-date catalogue has been published since 1977.
With this new catalogue the authors aim to provide specialist as well as non-specialist readers with a detailed overview of all available knowledge on the taxonomy, distribution, biology, and dispersal of New Zealand Heteroptera. The format of the catalogue has been developed with the interests of systematists and other biologists in mind to allow easy informational retrieval, comparison between genera and species, and synthesis of data.
Contributor Marie-Claude Larivi#re is a biosystematist with Landcare Research, having been Research Leader of the Biosystematics of New Zealand Land Invertebrates programme until 1997. Born and educated in Quebec where he taught ecology, co-edited two entomological journals, and was honorary curator to the Lyman Entomological Museum and Research Laboratory. He is the author of over 400 papers on North American insects, mostly carabids, and his current main research interest is the faunistics and taxonomy of New Zealand ground beetles.