Malaysian Subregion

Malaysian Subregion

 

a subregion of the Indo-Malaysian zoogeographic land region. It covers the entire Malay Archipelago, extending southward to the Australian zoogeographic region, and to the north encompasses the Philippines and the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. Some zoologists include the island of Sulawesi in the Australian region rather than the Malaysian subregion. With the exception of areas greatly altered by agriculture, such as almost the entire island of Java, tropical forests predominate throughout the Malaysian subregion.

Moving away from Asia, particularly in the south, the fauna becomes less rich and varied than in the Indian-Indochinese subregion. Endemic animals include the orangutang, proboscis monkey, various tree shrews, and a number of species of hedgehogs, viverrines, rabbits, squirrels, and porcupines. Among widely encountered animals are macaques, parrots of the subfamily Loriinae, tarsiers, palm martens, squirrels, porcupines, pigs, deer, mouse deer, siamangs, flying lemurs, and the Malay bear. Leopards, tigers, and rhinoceroses (two species) are also found. Birds are similar to those of the continental part of the Indo-Malaysian region. Endemic species include the argus pheasant, the predatory bird Pithecophaga jefferyi and several species of megapodes. Reptiles are more distinctive, including numerous geckos, varanids (of which the Komodo dragon is of special interest), and crocodiles, including the endemic genus Tomistoma; agamids include the flying lizard and the Bornean lizard, a nonpoisonous lizard related to the American lizards of the Helodermatidae family. Marsupials (cuscuses) are found on Sulawesi; the island’s endemic species include the anoa wild ox, the black macaque, and the babirusa.

REFERENCES

Geptner, V. G. Obshchaia zoogeografiia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936.
Puzanov, I. I. Zoogeografiia. Moscow, 1938.
Darlington, P. Zoogeografiia. Moscow, 1966. (Translated from English.)

V. G. GEPTNER

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