Numbers of Living Species in Australia and the World

2nd edition

A.D.Chapman
Australian Biodiversity Information Services, Toowoomba, Australia
A Report for the Australian Biological Resources Study September 2009
ISBN (printed) 978 0 642 56860 1 OUT OF PRINT
ISBN (online) 978 0 642 56861 8

Footnotes

Introduction

  1. Global Biodiversity Information Facility http://www.gbif.org  
  2. Species 2000 http://www.species2000.org  
  3. Integrated Taxonomic Information System http://www.itis.usda.gov/  
  4. International Plant Names Index http://www.ipni.org  

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Executive Summary

  1. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
  2. Includes listed Extinct and Vulnerable species (DEWHA 2009a, b).
  3. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
  4. This figure is a midpoint between estimates of 200 000 to 300 000.
  5. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
  6. Does not include 824 undescribed species, but which have been given either manuscript or phrase names.
  7. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
  8. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
  9. Includes listed Extinct and Vulnerable species (DEH 2005). NB This figure includes about 88 undescribed species, and excludes infraspecific taxa.
  10. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
  11. Includes listed Extinct and Vulnerable species (DEWHA 2009a, b). Does not include infraspecific or undescribed taxa.
  12. Includes an estimate of 3 236–3 545 accepted and described species of plant algae for Australia, and 12 205 for the world. This grouping was not included within the ‘Plants’ grouping in the previous report, but was treated within ‘Algae’ under the group ‘Others’.

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Detailed discussion by Group

Chordates

Mammalia (mammals)
  1. pers. comm. Craig Hilton-Taylor, Manager The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, IUCN, September 2008.
  2. Plus another 1.4% which are regarded as Extinct in the Wild (The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 2009b).
Aves (birds)
  1. Birds Australia Checklist (Birds Australia 2009) is derived from Christidis and Boles (2008). http://www.birdsaustralia.com.au/images/stories/birds/checklist2008_sm.pdf   [Accessed13 March 2009].
  2. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Reptilia (reptiles)
  1. EMBL Reptile Database (Aug. 2005)—http://www.embl-heidelberg.de/~uetz/. [NB This link is no longer operating and is replaced by the TIGR Reptile Database, (TIGR 2009)].
  2. pers. comm. Peter Uertz, Coordinator, EMBL Reptile Database, Aug. 2005.
  3. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Amphibia (frogs etc.)
  1. pers. comm. David B. Wake, University of California, Berkeley, May 2009.
  2. pers. comm. Alice Wells, Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra, July 2009.
  3. pers. comm. Paul Doughty, Western Australian Museum, March 2009.
  4. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Pisces (fishes including Chondrichthyes and Osteichthyes)
  1. Encompasses Superclass Pisces as used by ABRS (Hoese et al. 2007), and includes a range of paraphyletic groups as recognised by others.
  2. pers. comm. Bill Eschmeyer, Catalogue of Fishes, California Academy of Sciences, August 2005.
  3. pers. comm. Bill Eschmeyer, Catalogue of Fishes, California Academy of Sciences, May 2009.
  4. pers. comm. Doug Hoese, Australian Museum, Sydney, March 2009.
  5. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Agnatha (hagfish, lampreys and slime eels)
  1. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Cephalochordata (lancelets)
  1. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Tunicata or Urochordata (sea squirts, doliodids, salps)
  1. pers. comm. Karen Sanamyan, Kamchatka Branch of Pacific Institute of Geography, May 2009.
  2. MEER Database http://www.meer.org/M20.htm   [Accessed 30 June 2009].
  3. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).

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Invertebrates

Hemichordata (hemichordates)
  1. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Echinodermata (starfish, sea cucumbers, etc)
  1. pers. comm. Rich Mooi, California Academy of Sciences, 17 June 2005 and 16 March 2009.
  2. pers. comm. Rich Mooi, California Academy of Sciences, 17 June 2005.
  3. pers. comm. Tim O’Hara, Museum of Victoria, March 2009.
  4. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b), but note that they do list one ‘Near Threatened’ species.
Insecta (insects)
  1. CSIRO: Beetle Research. http://www.csiro.au/science/Beetle-Research.html   [Accessed 18 March 2009].
  2. Oberprieler et al. (2007) and pers. comm., November 2008. Oberprieler’s figures included 62 000 and 220 000 for the number of described and estimated species of Curculionoidea weevils respectively with 4 188 described for Australia out of an estimated 2 000 species.
  3. Oberprieler et al. (2007) and pers. comm., November 2008.
  4. Wikipedia (2009): Diptera. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diptera   [Accessed 18 March 2009].
  5. Wikipedia (2009): Embioptera. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embioptera   [Accessed 18 March 2009].
  6. Wikipedia (2009): Ephemeroptera. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayfly   [Accessed 18 March 2009].
  7. Discover Life (2009): Hemiptera. http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20o?search=Hemiptera   [Accessed 18 March 2009].
  8. Hymenoptera Online Database http://osuc.biosci.ohio-state.edu/HymOnline/   [Accessed on 18 March 2009].
  9. Wikipedia (2009): Termite. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Termite   [Accessed 18 March 2009].
  10. At least 348 species now recognised, but many as yet to be formally described (ABRS 2009a).
  11. Taxonomy of the Lepidoptera: the scale of the problem. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/taxome/lepnos.html   [Accessed 18 March 2009].
  12. Moth and butterfly (Lepidoptera]. research at CSIRO http://www.csiro.au/science/ps1e7.html   [Accessed 18 March 2009].
  13. Encyclopedia Britannica http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/362942/mantid   [Accessed 18 March 2009].
  14. Many species may have been described twice as males and females can be vastly different (Kevan 1982 from ABRS 2009a).
  15. Trichoptera World Checklist http://entweb.clemson.edu/database/trichopt/   [Accessed 18 March 2009].
  16. The one species described for Australia occurs only on Christmas Island.
  17. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Arachnida (spiders, scorpions, etc.)
  1. Wikipedia (2000): Palpigradi. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palpigradi   [Accessed 23 March 2009].
  2. Wikipedia (2000): Pseudoscorpion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudoscorpiones   [Accessed 23 March 2009].
  3. Wikipedia (2005): Schizomida. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizomida   [Accessed 23 March 2009].
  4. pers. comm. Robert Raven, Queensland Museum, March 2009
  5. pers. comm. Mark Harvey, Western Australian Museum, July 2009. With reference to Harvey (2002), Harvey (2007), Harvey (2009).
  6. Raven and Yeates (2007) reporting a pers. comm. from N.I.Platnick (2004).
  7. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Pycnogonida (sea spiders)
  1. pers. comm. Claudio Arango, Queensland Museum, April 2009.
  2. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Myriapoda (millipedes and centipedes)
  1. pers. comm. Greg Edgecombe, Natural History Museum, London, UK, March 2009.
  2. pers. comm. Bob Mesibov, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, Tasmania, March 2009.
  3. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Crustacea (crabs, lobsters)
  1. Wikipedia (2009): Crustacean. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crustacean   [Accessed 19 May 2009].
  2. pers. comm. Peter Davie, Queensland Museum, March 2009.
  3. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Onychophora (velvet worms)
  1. Peripatus.gen.nz Web site: Onychophora http://www.peripatus.gen.nz/Taxa/Arthropoda/Onychophora.html   [Accessed 19 May 2009].
  2. Wikipedia (2009): Onychophora. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onychophora   [Accessed 15 May 2009].
  3. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Hexapoda (proturans, springtails)
  1. pers. comm. Frans Janssens, Collembola.org, University of Antwerp, Belgium, May 2009.
  2. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Mollusca (molluscs, shellfish)
  1. pers. comm. Gary Rosenberg, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, Sept. 2008.
  2. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Annelida (segmented worms)
  1. pers. comm. R.Wilson, Museum of Victoria and M.Capa, Australian Museum—made up of 981 described, 144 known undescribed and 14 Antarctic species, April 2009.
  2. pers. comm. Chris Glasby, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, April 2009.
  3. pers. comm. R.Wilson, Museum of Victoria and M.Capa Australian Museum—who state that most of these are probably new, undescribed species, April 2009.
  4. 650 native (and 75 exotic) (terrestrial) megadriles—ref. Rob Blakemore pers. comm. (2009) and 270 microdriles (ABRS 2009a).
  5. pers. comm. Rob Blakemore, Tasmania, Sept. 2008.
  6. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Nematoda (nematodes, roundworms)
  1. Wikipedia (2009): Nematode. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nematode   [Accessed 19 May 2009].
  2. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Acanthocephala (thorny-headed worms)
  1. Wikipedia (2009): Acanthocephala. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acanthocephala   [Accessed 19 May 2009].
  2. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Platyhelminthes (flat worms)
  1. pers. comm. Alice Wells, Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra, July 2009.
  2. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Cnidaria (jellyfish, sea anenomes, and corals)
  1. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Porifera (sponges)
  1. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Other Invertebrates
  1. pers. comm. Russell Shiel, University of Adelaide, Nov. 2008.
  2. pers. comm. Sandra Claxton, New South Wales, Aug. 2008.
  3. pers. comm. Reinhardt Kristensen, University of Copenhagen, June 2009.
  4. Brusca and Brusca (2003) treat the Placozoa, Monoblastoza, Rhombozoa and Orthonectida as phyla of uncertain relationships.
  5. 1 570 Monogonata, 461 Bdelloidea (Segers 2008) plus at least 70 (maybe as high as 190) marine species (Russell Shiel pers. comm. 2009). Fontaneto et al. (2006) state that 148 species have been found in saltwater only—both marine and inland saltwater lakes. Another species was described in Fontaneto et al. (2008).
  6. 326 freshwater species (Poinar 2008) plus five marine species (Bouchet 2006); and an estimated total of about 2 000 species (Poinar 2008).
  7. pers. comm. Reinhardt Kristensen, University of Copenhagen, 8 Aug. 2005, June 2009—includes four species from Australian caves, and two species from waters between Australia and New Caledonia.
  8. Bisby et al. (2009).
  9. Guidetti and Bertolani (2005) list 980 species of which 147 are marine. Bouchet (2006) states that there are 212 marine species, making a new total of 1 045 species.
  10. Included under Crustacea.

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Plants

Magnoliophyta (flowering plants)
  1. pers. comm. Holger Croft, University of California, San Diego, April 2009.
  2. pers. comm. Nicola Nicolson, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, April 2009.
  3. Manuscript and phrase names are not included in the tables on numbers of species.
  4. NB These figures do not take into account introduced and naturalised species which would drop the figure down to about 82%.
  5. Does not include 824 undescribed species that have been given either manuscript or phrase names.
  6. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Gymnosperms (Coniferophyta, Cycadophyta, Gnetophyta and Gingkophyta)
  1. pers. comm. Alan Paton, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, May 2009.
  2. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Ferns and Allies
  1. pers. comm. Peter Bostock, Queensland Herbarium, June 2009.
  2. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Bryophyta (mosses, liverworts, hornworts)
  1. pers. comm. Marshall Crosby, North Carolina, May 2009.
  2. pers. comm. Ray Stotler, University of Southern Illinois, June 2009. There are still some genera for which numbers are not known so this is an approximation.
  3. pers. comm. Lars Söderström, Department of Biology, NTNU, Norway, and Anders Hagborg, Field Museum, Chicago, June 2009.
  4. Wikipedia (2009): Marchantiophyta. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marchantiophyta   [Accessed 16 May 2009].
  5. pers. comm. Patrick McCarthy, Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra, May 2009.
  6. pers. comm. Christine Cargill, Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Canberra, June 2009.
  7. pers. comm. Niels Klazenga, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, May 2009.
  8. pers. comm. Patrick McCarthy, Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra, Sept. 2005.
  9. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Plant Algae (including green algae, red algae, glaucophytes)
  1. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
  2. AlgaeBase (Guiry & Guiry 2009).
  3. Many of these figures would appear to be estimates only and not accepted species.
  4. Corliss (2000) gives ~3 800, and Groombridge and Jenkins (2002) give ~16 000—compared to the AlgaeBase figure here of 3 913.
  5. Corliss (2000) gives 15.
  6. Corliss (2000) gives 4 250, and Groombridge and Jenkins (2002) give ~4 000—compared to the AlgaeBase figure here of 6 072.

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Fungi

Fungi (excluding taxa treated under Chromista and Protoctista)
  1. Interactive Catalogue of Australian Fungi http://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/research_and_conservation/fungi/cat   [Accessed June 2009].
  2. pers. comm. Tom May, National Herbarium of Victoria, June 2009.
  3. pers. comm. Tom May, National Herbarium of Victoria, July 2009.
  4. pers. comm. Tom May, National Herbarium of Victoria, 2005.
  5. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
  6. Includes 3 488 lichen-forming fungi—see table.
  7. Includes seven lichen-forming fungi—see table.
  8. Adl et al. (2007).
  9. Includes 3 495 lichen-forming fungi—see table.
Lichen-forming fungi
  1. BC Biodiversity: Lichens. http://www.bcbiodiversity.homestead.com/lichens.html  .
  2. pers. comm. Patrick McCarthy, Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra, July 2009.
  3. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).

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Others

Prokaryota (Bacteria [Monera] of previous report)
  1. pers. comm. Gustaaf Hallegraeff, School of Plant Science, University of Tasmania, July 2009.
  2. Change recommended by J.P.Euzéby, Société de Bactériologie Systématique et Vétérinaire (SBSV), France (pers. comm.).
  3. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Cyanophyta (Cyanobacteria)
  1. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Chromista (including some species previously included under either algae or fungi)
  1. pers. comm. Michael Guiry, AlgaeBase, June 2005.
  2. pers. comm. Gustaaf Hallegraeff, School of Plant Science, University of Tasmania, July 2009.
  3. pers. comm. David Patterson, Encyclopedia of Life, July 2009.
  4. pers. comm. Tom May, National Herbarium of Victoria, July 2009.
  5. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
  6. Scott and Marchant (2005).
  7. Cowan (2006).
  8. Data for Diatoms in AlgaeBase are not complete—pers. comm. Michael Guiry (AlgaeBase) who provided the figures of about 20 000 with about a further 80 000 undescribed.
  9. Data for diatoms in Australia is very sketchy. In the absence of other information, I have used the lower of the figures cited by Entwisle and Huisman (1998), (1 300) but actual number of published species of diatoms in Australia is likely to be much lower.
  10. GBIF (2009b).
  11. McCarthy and Orchard (2007) give a figure of 80 published species of which two are endemic.
  12. AMANI (Cowan 2006).
  13. AlgaeBase (Guiry and Guiry 2009) list only one species from Australia.
  14. Many of the Australian non-marine distribution records in AlgaeBase (Guiry and Guiry 2009) are based on Day et al. (1995).
  15. Entwisle and Huisman (1998) do not include this Class, however McCarthy & Orchard (2007) list 70 species for Australia.
  16. pers. comm. David Patterson, Encyclopedia of Life, February 2009.
  17. pers. comm. Tom May, National Herbarium of Victoria, July 2009.
  18. Adl et al. (2007) give a figure of 40 and an estimate of
Viruses
  1. pers. comm. Cornelia Büchen-Osmond, ICTVdB Management (retired), Columbia University, April 2009.
  2. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009b).
Protoctista (mainly Protozoa—others included under fungi, algae, Chromista, etc)
  1. pers. comm. David Patterson, Encyclopedia of Life, February 2009.
  2. pers. comm. Tom May, National Herbarium of Victoria, July 2009.
  3. The arrangement does not follow the classification used in Adl et al. (2007) which is a more modern classification than the others, but has been modified to allow comparisons with the earlier publications. I apologise to the authors for the liberties I have taken and mistakes made in doing this.
  4. Included as Choanomonada and Mesomycetozoa in the Amoebozoa.
  5. Rhizaria (excl. Foraminifera)—includes Cercozoa: n × 103); Haplosporidia: 31 (n × 102); Acantharia: 160 (
  6. Excavata (includes Fornicata) 146 (
  7. Numbers are approximate only, and have often been hard to place into a category.
  8. Scott and Marchant (2005) list 151 species for the Australian Antarctic Territory. I have no figures for the rest of Australia.

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