Preliminary Checklist of Extant and Fossil Endemic Taxa of the ABC-Islands, Leeward Antilles

The literature on the endemic flora and fauna of the Dutch Lesser Antilles is scattered and often difficult to find. An initial compilation amounts to 163 extant terrestrial and freshwater taxa (121 nominate species and 42 subspecies) and 58 marine taxa (all nominate species) which are either restricted to one or more of the ABC islands, or which otherwise have a limited geographical distribution in the Southern Caribbean (i.e. endemic). In addition, a total of 39 endemic fossil taxa are listed.

The breakdown for extant endemic terrestrial and freshwater species and subspecies is as follows: plants (22 sp.); arachnids and insects (40 sp. + 4 ssp.); freshwater and subterranean crustaceans (25 sp. + 3 ssp.); freshwater polycheats, flatworms, rotatoria (7 sp.); terrestrial gastropods (15 sp. + 5 ssp.); fresh- brackishwater fishes (2 sp. + 1 ssp.); reptiles (9 sp. + 3 ssp.); birds (22 ssp.); 4 mammals (1 sp. + 4 ssp.).

Marine endemism especially concerns marine gastropod mollusks, many of which show direct development or have short larval dispersive stages. Other marine taxa probably contain significant endemism as well but have not been included because of a lack of information.

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