Tasmanian invertebrates (Classes Insecta and Diplopoda)

​Application for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment

Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until 22 October.

Applicant: ANIC CSIRO

Species/Taxon: Classes Insecta (emphasis on Order Hymenoptera) and Diplopoda

Location: Various National Parks, Nature Recreation Areas, Conservation Areas, Forest & Region Reserves around Tasmania.

Title of research: Biodiversity and biogeography of Tasmanian terrestrial invertebrates

Aim of project: Obtain specimens of Tasmanian terrestrial invertebrates that will fill in biodiversity and distribution gaps to produce taxonomic revisions, sex-associations, new species descriptions, phylogenies and biogeographic analyses.

Justification: Our knowledge on the terrestrial invertebrate fauna of Australia is still very poor, with more than 50% of species undescribed. This has produced a large gap in our understanding of invertebrate biodiversity through time and
space, and the potential impact of changing ecosystems. One of the best sources of baseline data for biodiversity
studies are natural history museums. Unfortunately, vast natural areas remain unsampled and therefore
underrepresented in museums, a pattern that is stronger for some invertebrate groups, for which specific
sampling techniques, seasonality and specimen processing are needed. This project aims to sample Tasmanian
terrestrial invertebrates that are not properly represented in natural history collections, and whose records will
contribute to our understanding of the dynamics of biodiversity in space and time. Moreover, specimens from
undescribed species will likely be obtained allowing us to produce complete taxonomic revisions, phylogenies and
include a wider range of taxa in biogeographic analyses. Tasmania is a unique region in terms of its faunal affinities
and biogeographical processes that constitutes a key component in our understanding of Australia’s unique
biodiversity. Therefore, increasing its biodiversity baseline data will help understand Australian biodiversity as a
whole.

Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved: No more than 10 specimens per species (where a species ID can be made in situ) will be taken, usually no more than 5 individuals. No vertebrates will be affected.

Activities undertaken and methods:
Sampling insects and millipedes using the following techniques:
1) Sweeping net.
2) Pan traps (little plastic bowls about 7cm diameter x 5cm height) to attract insects by its colours (white, blue,
yellow).
3) Malaise traps (flight interception traps that capture insects that fly against the trap – tent-like structure).
4) Hand collection on the ground.
When host plant records are considered useful, photos will be the preferred method but hand collection of plant
material could be used occasionally.

Fate of animals: Insects and millipedes will be euthanised and preserved in 96% ethanol.

Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch): Low because of the low number of specimens targeted and the capture rates associated with the methods. For sweeping net and hand collection, specimens to keep and euthanise are at the discretion of the scientist, thus bycatchis extremely unlikely. For pan traps and malaise traps, by-catch will be minimized by using short sampling periods and because fresh specimens – short time after dead - are preferred in case DNA analysis is performed.

Contact

Scientific Research Permits
Natural Values Conservation Branch
134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Email: Scientific.Permits@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

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