Australian Subregion

Australian Subregion

 

(also New Holland subregion), the largest subregion of the Australian zoogeographic region, encompassing Australia and Tasmania. Some scholars include the northern part of Australia in the Papuan subregion. The ecological conditions vary: in addition to vast deserts occupying most of the continent and steppes, there are forests (ranging from tropical to temperate), mountains, and interior bodies of water. The fauna is not rich in species, but it includes the most typical representatives of the Australian zoogeographic region. Most characteristic of the subregion are fauna of the Prototheria subclass (the platypus and two species of echidnas) and a large number of marsupials, including kangaroos, marsupial anteaters, martens, moles, badgers, squirrels, dormice, koalas, the marsupial wolf (extinct), and the wombat. There are several endemic genera of rodents and many species of bats belonging to common genera. Among the some 100 species of endemic birds are the emu and lyrebird. Common endemic reptiles include the frilled lizard, the moloch, and several species of skinks, geckos, and snakes, including poisonous snakes. The amphibians are represented chiefly by frogs, both whistling frogs and several species of tree frogs. The lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri is found only in the Australian subregion.

REFERENCES

Geptner, V. G. Obshchaia zoogeografiia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936.
Darlington, M. Zoogeografiia. Moscow, 1966. (Translated from English.)

V. G. GEPTNER

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