South Florida is a floral and faunal transition zone between the Nearctic region and the West Indian part of the Neotropical region. Ninety one species of Cerambycidae are known from the south Florida mainland and 53 species of Cerambycidae from the Florida Keys. The cerambycid fauna of south Florida is about equally of Neotropical (53%) and Nearctic origin (47%). Since the Florida Keys were entirely submerged several times in the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs, the present cerambycid fauna is predominantly the result of late Pleistocene Holocene overland dispersal from south-central Florida and overwater dispersal from the West Indies (Bahama Islands and Cuba). Species-area and species distance relationships for the islands form significant regression lines as predicted by the equilibrium theory of island biogeography. The presence of a 'distance effect' is surprising, since it is usually considered that only during the past 10000 years has the southern tip of the Florida peninsula been fragmented into the present day islands of the Keys by a rising sea level. An alternative geological scenario, supported by this study, suggests that the present islands of the Keys have appeared as the sea level fell only within the past 6000 years, and the fauna is a more recently derived one.
Canadian Journal of Zoology
Department of Biology

Browne, J. (J.), & Peck, S. (1996). The long-horned beetles of south Florida (Cerambycidae: Coleoptera): Biogeography and relationships with the Bahama Islands and Cuba. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 74(12), 2154–2169. doi:10.1139/z96-244