[Taxacom] Hygrobia (was Eurasia-Australian distribution)

Jason Mate jfmate at hotmail.com
Sun Jul 25 17:59:16 CDT 2010

massive speculation going on here in this thread!

But of course Stephen, Taxacom is a sounding board for half-baked ideas. Sometimes it helps you shape them most times  they end up in the trash-can. Just having some good old fun.

distributions of organisms tend to have a big random element (random extinction, random dispersal events), so trying to "retro-rationalize" them in any great detail is probably futile...
how about this little known example: the weevil genus Rhopalomerus occurs in N.Z. and Chile (and maybe Australia and New Caledonia). Most species are from N.Z., including R. tenuirostris - the only Chilean species, which occurs in native forests from sea level to the high mountains throughout Chile and New Zealand, and appears to be native to both countries!
then there are gymnusine staphylinids, restricted to the Holarctic, except for one species from the subantarctic Auckland Islands!
similarly agyrtids, Holarctic except for a New Zealand genus ...
apparently there is a fungal taxon known only from N.Z. and Cuba, but in this case that is also the distribution of experts on the taxon!

I know and that is why biogeography is a pointless exercise in story telling. :) Seriously, big gaps are interesting, if anything because we (I?)e hate gaps.  And sinc history is random anyway,"retro-rationalizing" (nice mouthfull) is just a publication minus the references and nice trees to support our angle.


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