Comprehensive inventory of true flies (Diptera) at a tropical site

Brian V. Brown, Art Borkent, Peter H. Adler, Dalton de Souza Amorim, Kevin Barber, Daniel Bickel, Stephanie Boucher, Scott E. Brooks, John Burger, Zelia L. Burington, Renato S. Capellari, Daniel N. R. Costa, Jeffrey M. Cumming, Greg Curler, Carl W. Dick, John H. Epler, Eric Fisher, Stephen D. Gaimari, Jon Gelhaus, David A. GrimaldiJohn Hash, Martin Hauser, Heikki Hippa, Sergio Ibáñez-Bernal, Mathias Jaschhof, Elena P. Kameneva, Peter H. Kerr, Valery Korneyev, Cheslavo A. Korytkowski, Giar-Ann Kung, Gunnar Mikalsen Kvifte, Owen Lonsdale, Stephen A. Marshall, Wayne Mathis, Verner Michelsen, Stefan Naglis, Allen L. Norrbom, Steven Paiero, Thomas Pape, Alessandre Pereira-Colavite, Marc Pollet, Sabrina Rochefort, Alessandra Rung, Justin B. Runyon, Jade Savage, Vera C. Silva, Bradley J. Sinclair, Jeffrey H. Skevington, John O. Stireman III, John Swann

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Estimations of tropical insect diversity generally suffer from lack of known groups or faunas against which extrapolations can be made, and have seriously underestimated the diversity of some taxa. Here we report the intensive inventory of a four-hectare tropical cloud forest in Costa Rica for one year, which yielded 4332 species of Diptera, providing the first verifiable basis for diversity of a major group of insects at a single site in the tropics. In total 73 families were present, all of which were studied to the species level, providing potentially complete coverage of all families of the order likely to be present at the site. Even so, extrapolations based on our data indicate that with further sampling, the actual total for the site could be closer to 8000 species. Efforts to completely sample a site, although resource-intensive and time-consuming, are needed to better ground estimations of world biodiversity based on limited sampling.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)21
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Thematic list

  • Insects

EWI Biomedical sciences

  • B320-taxonomy
  • B320-zoogeography
  • B280-animal-ecology

Taxonomic list

  • insects (Insecta)
  • true flies (2-winged flies) (Diptera)


  • biodiversity policy

Geographic list

  • New World (North, Central and South America)
  • Neotropic


  • identification

Free keywords

  • biodiversity
  • assessment
  • samping methodology


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