Species Diversity

In spite of immense efforts by 19th- and 20th-century taxonomists to describe the world's fauna and flora, the true

TABLE I Comparison of the Estimated Number of Species for Vertebrates and the Four Most Species-Rich Orders of Insects, Description Rates, and Publication Effort

Average description

Described rate (species Publication

Order species year-1)" effort^

Invertebrates

Average description

Described rate (species Publication

Order species year-1)" effort^

Invertebrates

Coleoptera

300,000-400,000

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