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Figure 2.2. MAJOR NEOTROPICAL BIOGEOGRAPHIC REGIONS (modified and expanded from Fittkau 1969). MIDDLE AMERICA: 1. Mexican Highlands (part of Nearctic Region); 2. Mexican Lowlands and Central America; 3. West Indies (Antilles); SOUTH AMERICA Guiana-Brazil; 4. Caquetio (Orinoco and south); 5. Hylaea (Amazonia); 6. Bororó (Brazilian plateau); 7. Cariri (northeastern Brazil); 8. Tupi; 9. Guaraní (southern Brazil); 10. Incasia (northern Andes) Andes-Patagonia; 11. Pampas; 12. Patagonia (includes Juan Fernández, Falklands, etc.); 13. Subandes (eastern Andean foot ranges); 14. Chile; 15. Andes (central and southern).

Figure 2.2. MAJOR NEOTROPICAL BIOGEOGRAPHIC REGIONS (modified and expanded from Fittkau 1969). MIDDLE AMERICA: 1. Mexican Highlands (part of Nearctic Region); 2. Mexican Lowlands and Central America; 3. West Indies (Antilles); SOUTH AMERICA Guiana-Brazil; 4. Caquetio (Orinoco and south); 5. Hylaea (Amazonia); 6. Bororó (Brazilian plateau); 7. Cariri (northeastern Brazil); 8. Tupi; 9. Guaraní (southern Brazil); 10. Incasia (northern Andes) Andes-Patagonia; 11. Pampas; 12. Patagonia (includes Juan Fernández, Falklands, etc.); 13. Subandes (eastern Andean foot ranges); 14. Chile; 15. Andes (central and southern).

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Faunistics

The present-day composition of species in a particular geographic area comprises its fauna. As shown above, the nature of faunas, the relative number of different ecological types, and the taxonomic spectrum offer clues to the geologic history of the area and are important to ecologists as indicators of communities and ecosystems.

The extent of the entire Latin American entomofauna is not yet known. Estimates go as high as 20 million species. Attempts have been made to identify the insects and related arthropods of many portions of the region, but none can be considered complete. It involves a great deal of effort and taxonomic expertise even to compile a general list of all the speices in a small area. Only a few general lists and cursory faunal reviews have been published; consult the Faunal Surveys in chapter 13 for a listing of these.

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