Indian-Indochinese Subregion

Indian-Indochinese Subregion

 

a subregion of the Indo-Malayan zoogeographic land region; it covers all the mainland area of the region (except the southern part of the Malay Peninsula) and the islands of Sri Lanka, Hainan, Taiwan, and Ryukyu. The fauna of peninsular India differs significantly from the fauna of the remaining territory of the Indian-Indochinese subregion; therefore, two subregions are sometimes distinguished instead of the Indian-Indochinese subregion.

As a whole, the fauna of the Indian-Indochinese subregion is characterized by special forms of hedgehogs and by lorises, certain monkeys (including langurs and gibbons), and the Himalayan black bear, sloth bear, giant panda, and panda. Arti-odactyls include deer (sambar, sika, and marsh deer, as well as muntjacs and chevrotains), antelope (nilgai, koodoos, black-buck, chousingha, and takin), buffalo, gaur, gray ox, elephant, and rhinoceros. There are various species of cats (tiger, panther, and clouded leopard) and viverrines. Numerous rodents are found in the subregion (a special family of dormice, Platacan-thomyidae; palm squirrels; Russian flying squirrels; Hystricidae; bandicoots; and a number of species of ordinary rats). Freshwater dolphins are native to the subregion. Birds are represented by the broad-mouthed dollarbird, red jungle fowl, Phasianidae (several genera), peacocks, hornbills, bulbuls, and barbets. Native reptiles include families of shield-tailed snakes and certain genera from other families, several genera of cobras, big-headed turtles, and crocodiles, among which the common gharial and the alligator living in the Yangtze River are native to the subregion.

The borders of the subregion to the northeast and northwest are undefined, since in those areas no insurmountable barriers exist fcr animals. Therefore, considerable mixing with fauna of the Paleo-Arctic occurs. On the one hand, northern (Holarctic) forms enter the territory of the Indian-Indochinese subregion; on the other hand, certain Indian forms are found in the far qorth. In the northeastern area of the Indian-Indochinese subregion certain species of mole families are encountered that are alien to the region as a whole; and in the northwest there are rodents of the subfamily Gerbillinae and Asiatic wild asses. Tibetan—that is, Holarctic—fauna is distributed in the north throughout high-altitude areas of the Himalayas.

V. G. GEPTNER

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