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The bark and ambrosia beetles (Curculionidae, Scolytinae) of Cocos Island, Costa Rica and the role of mating systems in island zoogeography

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Cocos Island is a small oceanic island midway between Costa Rica and the Galápagos Archipelago; about 2 Myr in age, it is the only tropical oceanic island in the eastern Pacific with tropical wet forest. We identified several hundred bark beetle specimens collected during recent expeditions by INBio, the National Biodiversity Institute of Costa Rica, and re-examined all specimens from earlier collections. We report 19 species in ten genera, seven or eight of which are endemic, making scolytines the largest group of beetles known from the island. We describe as new Pycnarthrum pseudoinsulare, Xyleborinus cocoensis, and Xyleborus sparsegranulosus, resurrect Xyleborus bispinatus as separate from X. ferrugineus, and report six other species as new to Cocos Island. Three-quarters of the scolytines reproduce by brother–sister mating, and we argue that inbreeders are superior island colonists because they are less affected than are outbreeders by problems of mate location and inbreeding depression. The fauna and flora of Cocos Island arrived by dispersal and human transport. We examine natural colonization patterns for the fauna, using the distributions of the relatives of island endemics: most colonization came from the Americas, but the closest relatives to some endemics are found on Caribbean or Galápagos islands. © 2006 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2006, 89, 729–743.
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Keywords: Baker’s rule; colonization; inbreeding; island biogeography

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, University of Bergen, Allegaten 41, N-5007 Bergen, Norway 2: Museum of Natural History and Archaeology, University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway

Publication date: 2006-12-01

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