The “Our Planet Reviewed” Mitaraka 2015 expedition: a full account of its research outputs after six years and recommendations for future surveys

Julien TOUROULT, Olivier PASCAL, Florian BARNIER & Marc POLLET

en Zoosystema 43 (32) - Pages 811-833

Published on 21 December 2021

This article is a part of the thematic issue “Our Planet Reviewed” 2015 large-scale biotic survey in Mitaraka, French Guiana

Six years after the expedition “Our Planet Reviewed – French Guiana 2015” in the Mitaraka massif, we present a synthesis of the taxonomic and faunistic results obtained from the analysis of the 108 published articles and the 10 600 observations that were databased and disseminated. In this relatively short period of time, 218 new species for French Guiana including 127 species new to science, and also four genera new to science have been published based on the expedition material. These are primarily insects, notably Coleoptera (98), Diptera (60), Lepidoptera (16) and Orthoptera (17). For the 2015 to 2020 period, approximately 13% of the descriptions of new animal species in French Guiana use material from the expedition. The 3100 species identified in Mitaraka represent nearly 15% of the 21 042 animal species known from French Guiana. The observation data from the expedition that are open access via the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) portal render the Mitaraka massif the area with the greatest documented and disclosed entomological richness on the Guiana Shield. Feedback has enabled us to draw up some recommendations for inventories aimed at taxonomic discovery: assign a person per taxonomic group to mobilize, coordinate, and motivate the taxonomic experts involved; deploy a variety of collecting strategies, from interception and attractive traps to active search; invest heavily in the sample processing phase; get a journal editor engaged to dedicate issues to thematic publications on the survey; and disclose the survey data through GBIF data sets and/or datapapers.


Neotropics, Tumuc Humac, Guiana Shield, Amazonian forest, ATBI, sampling strategy, collecting methods, Linnean shortfall

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