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Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory: Estimated Numbers of the Australian Fauna

This table is not complete and should be used as a guide to numbers. It includes estimates based on information from various sources. An asterisk indicates that the estimated number of described species or the estimated total number of species was not known. We are grateful to the many specialists who provided data and welcome any information to keep this table up to date.

See Details of Taxa Databased for data already included in, or in preparation for, the Australian Faunal Directory. Use Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table to switch between tables.

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Taxon Common name Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table  Australian Fauna
Families: estimated numbers Species: estimated numbers described Species: estimated total numbers Species: estimated % described
Porifera sponges Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 96 1,476 3,500 42%
Cnidaria: Scyphozoa jellyfish   * 51 53 96%
Cnidaria: Cubozoa box-jellyfish   * 9 11 82%
Cnidaria: Hydrozoa hydroids   * 600 1,000 60%
Cnidaria: Anthozoa corals, sea anemones   * 610 695 88%
Ctenophora comb-jellies   * 10 60 17%
Mesozoa mesozoans   4 100 100 *
Platyhelminthes: Turbellaria free living flatworms   75 220 1,720 13%
Platyhelminthes: Monogenea flukes   25 300 3,500 9%
Platyhelminthes: Trematoda: Aspidogastrea flukes   3 10 10 *
Platyhelminthes: Trematoda: Digenea flukes   75 626 3,626 17%
Platyhelminthes: Cestoda tapeworms Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 48 437 1,950 22%
Nemertea ribbon worms Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 18 81 281 29%
Gnathostomulida gnathostomulids   10 8 8 *
Gastrotricha gastrotrichs   13 45 45 *
Rotifera rotifers   30 650 1,300 50%
Chaetognatha chaetognaths, arrow worms Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 5 19 19 100%
Kinorhyncha kinorhynchs   6 8 8 *
Loricifera loriciferans   2 3 3 *
Acanthocephala thorny-headed worms   14 57 157 36%
Nematoda: (part) free-living marine nematodes, aphelenchids Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 50 355 * *
Nematoda (rest of groups) nematodes, roundworms   300 1,200 70,000 2%
Nematomorpha horsehair worms   6 32 32 *
Bryozoa moss animals   131 1,000 2,500 40%
Phoronida phoronids   1 6 6 *
Brachiopoda lamp shells Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 16 58 70 83%
Mollusca: Aplacophora aplacophorans Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 7 12 50 24%
Mollusca: Polyplacophora chitons Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 9 221 221 *
Mollusca: Scaphopoda tusk shells Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 9 107 107 *
Mollusca: Cephalopoda squid, cuttlefish, octopuses Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 40 188 200 94%
Mollusca: Bivalvia (part databased) bivalves Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 94 1,642 2,142 77%
Mollusca: Non marine mollusca (excl. pulmonates) non marine bivalves, gastropods Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 16 337 450 75%
Mollusca:
Gastropoda (part
databased)
gastropods Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table        
Mollusca: Gastropoda: Patellogastropoda limpets Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 5 60 70 86%
Mollusca: Gastropoda: Vetigastropoda topshells, abalones etc. Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 9 500 600 83%
Mollusca: Gastropoda: Archeogastropoda periwinkles, whelks etc. Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table * 4,000 5,500 73%
Mollusca: Gastropoda: Heterobranchia miscellaneous groups Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 17 700 1,000 70%
Mollusca: Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia seaslugs etc.   105 1,000 1,500 67%
Mollusca: Gastropoda: Pulmonata land snails, slugs etc. Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 47 1,081 1,081 *
Priapulida priapulids   3 2 2 *
Sipuncula peanut worms Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 6 48 48 100%
Echiura spoon worms, echiuroid worms Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 3 13 13 100%
Kamptozoa kamptozoans Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 3 16 37 43%
Annelida: Polychaeta bristle worms Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 54 1,126 3,000 38%
Annelida: Pogonophora pogonophorans   4 6 6 *
Annelida: Oligochaeta (part) earthworms, enchytraeids, microdriles Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 8 898 1000 90%
Annelida: Hirudinea leeches Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 7 59 100 59%
Tardigrada water bears   14 89 89 *
Pentastomida tongue worms   1 10 10 *
Onychophora velvet worms Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 71 71 *
Crustacea: Branchiopoda (excl. Cladocera) (part) fairy, clam and shield shrimps Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 9 71 100 71%
Crustacea: Maxillopoda: Thecostraca     22 100 100 *
Crustacea: Maxillopoda: Mystacocarida     1 1 1 *
Crustacea: Maxillopoda: Branchiura fish lice   1 13 13 *
Crustacea: Maxillopoda: Copepoda copepods   86 900 900 *
Crustacea: Ostracoda mussel shrimps   21 800 800 *
Crustacea: Malacostraca (part 1): Stomatopoda, Eucarida (Amphionidacea, Decapoda, Euphausiacea) crabs, lobsters, prawns Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 126 2,479 2,500 99%
Crustacea: Malacostraca (part 2): Syncarida anaspidaceans Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 6 21   *
Crustacea: Malacostraca (part 3): Peracarida amphipods, isopods Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 179 2,416 4,000 60%
Pycnogonida sea spiders Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 6 120 120 *
Arachnida: Scorpiones scorpions Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 4 40 150 27%
Arachnida: Araneae (all groups) spiders   57 2,399 11,500 21%
Arachnida: Araneae: Mygalomorphae (part databased) spiders Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table        
Arachnida: Araneae: Araneomorphae (part databased) spiders Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table        
Arachnida: Amblypygi amblypigids Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 2 4 10 40%
Arachnida: Schizomida schizomids Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 46 75 61%
Arachnida: Pseudoscorpiones pseudoscorpions Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 18 151 600 25%
Arachnida: Opiliones harvest spiders, daddy longlegs Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 12 199 500 40%
Arachnida: Palpigradi micro-whip scorpions Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 2 2 *
Arachnida: Acarina mites Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 304 2,871 15,000 19%
Myriapoda: Symphyla symphylans Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table  2 26 150 17%
Myriapoda: Diplopoda millipedes Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 20 230 2,000 12%
Myriapoda: Chilopoda centipedes Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table  12 131 150 87%
Myriapoda: Pauropoda pauropods Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table  2 18 500 4%
Protura proturans Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 3 32 100 32%
Collembola springtails Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 14 322 2,000 16%
Diplura diplurans Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 5 28 38 74%
Archaeognatha bristletails Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 10 14 71%
Zygentoma silverfish Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 2 34 37 92%
Ephemeroptera mayflies Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 26 253 333 76%
Odonata damselflies, dragonflies Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 30 320 330 97%
Plecoptera stoneflies Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 4 192 196 98%
Blattodea cockroaches Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 5 534 587 91%
Isoptera termites Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 5 263 289 91%
Mantodea praying mantids Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 3 104 114 91%
Dermaptera earwigs Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 7 91 121 75%
Orthoptera crickets, grasshoppers, locusts Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 20 1,482 2,200 67%
Phasmatodea stick insects Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 2 105 115 91%
Embioptera web-spinners, embiids Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 3 25 28 89%
Zoraptera zoraptera Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 1 2 50%
Psocoptera booklice Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 26 253 278 91%
Phthiraptera lice Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 14 463 648 71%
Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Psylloidea psyllids Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table  6 365 631 58%
Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Aleyrodidae whiteflies Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 103 111 93%
Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Aphidoidae aphids, greenflies Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 3 161 163 99%
Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Coccoidea coccoids, mealy bugs, scale insects
Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 14 764 911 84%
Hemiptera: Cicadoidea cicadas Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 2 235 250 94%
Hemiptera: Cercopoidea froghoppers, spittle bugs Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 3 32 50 64%
Hemiptera: Membracoidea leafhoppers, treehoppers Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 2 798 800 100%
Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea planthoppers Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 16 517 550 94%
Hemiptera: Coleorrhyncha to Cimicomorpha gerrids, water-striders, reduviids etc. Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 31 914 1,439 64%
Hemiptera: Pentatomomorpha pentatomids Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 34 1,184 1,266 94%
Thysanoptera thrips Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 5 697 1000 70%
Megaloptera alderflies, Dobson flies Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 2 24 26 92%
Neuroptera antlions, lacewings Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 14 551 606 91%
Coleoptera: Archostemata: Cupedoidea ommatids, cupedids Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 2 10 10 100%
Coleoptera: Myxophaga: Sphaeriusoidea microsporids, sphaeriusids Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 2 2 100%
Coleoptera: Adephaga: Caraboidea ground beetles, tiger beetles, diving beetles, whirligig beetles Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 7 2,529 2,730 93%
Coleoptera: Polyphaga: Hydrophiloidea hydrophilids, histerids Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table  2 430 500 86%
Coleoptera: Staphylinoidea (part) staphs   5 1,310 2,213 59%
Coleoptera: Staphylinoidea: Ptiliidae feather-wing beetles Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 49 52 94%
Coleoptera: Staphylinoidea: Silphidae carrion beetles Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 3 3 100%
Coleoptera: Staphylinoidea: Staphylinidae: Pselaphinae pselaphids Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table  1 579 700 83%
Coleoptera: Scirtoidea scirtids, clambids Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 2 69 140 49%
Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea dung beetles, Christmas beetles Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 8 2,623 2,977 88%
Coleoptera: Dascilloidea dascillids, rhipicerids Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 2 8 8 *
Coleoptera: Buprestoidea jewel beetles Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 1,205 1,300 93%
Coleoptera: Byrrhoidea byrrhids, elmids Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 8 174 276 63%
Coleoptera: Elateroidea click beetles, lycids, fireflies Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 7 1,106 1,380 80%
Coleoptera: Derodontoidea     1 1 2 50%
Coleoptera: Bostrichoidea (part) dermestids, carpet beetles, wood-boring beetles   3 382 505 76%
Coleoptera: Lymexyloidea wood-boring beetles Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 8 16 50%
Coleoptera: Cleroidea clerids   5 742 810 92%
Coleoptera: Cucujoidea ladybird beetles, nitidulids and flat bark beetles etc.   25 979 1,370 71%
Coleoptera: Tenebrionoidea (part) tenebrionids Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 1,599 2,600 62%
Coleoptera: Chrysomeloidea: Cerambycidae cerambycids   1 600 1,200 50%
Coleoptera: Chrysomeloidea: Chrysomelidae, Megalopodidae leaf-eating beetles Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 2 2,444 3,641 67%
Coleoptera: Curculionoidea weevils   7 4,192 6,640 63%
Strepsiptera strepsipterans Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 6 42 58 72%
Mecoptera scorpion-flies Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 5 30 33 91%
Siphonaptera fleas Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 9 84 92 91%
Diptera: Nematocera mosquitoes, midges, sandflies, craneflies etc. Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 23 2,398 2,848 84%
Diptera: Lower Brachycera ('Orthorrhapha': Part) march, horse, long-legged, bee flies Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 12 984 1,750 56%
Diptera: Brachycera: Cyclorrhapha (part) flies   50 1,285 2,142 60%
Diptera: Cyclorrhapha (Acalyptrata: Part) fruit flies, signal flies, vinegar flies Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 4 865 1000 87%
Diptera: Cyclorrhapha: Muscoidea flies   12 972 1,008 96%
Trichoptera caddis-flies Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 26 668 850 79%
Lepidoptera (all groups excl. Hesperioidea & Papilionoidea ) moths     10,185    
Lepidoptera: Zeugloptera, Aglossata moths   2   10  
Lepidoptera: Glossata: miscellaneous groups moths   8   370  
Lepidoptera: Glossata: Castnioidea sun moths Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1  24 24 100%
Lepidoptera: Glossata: Zygaenoidea (part) burnets & foresters, (dalcerid moths, etc) Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1  43 120 36%
Lepidoptera: Glossata: Tinoidea moths   8   1,325  
Lepidoptera: Glossata: Yponomeutoidea moths   7   543  
Lepidoptera: Gelechioidea (part): Oecophoridae litter moths Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 2331 5,500 42%
Lepidoptera: Gelechioidea (excl. Oecophoridae) moths   12   3,140  
Lepidoptera: Tortricoidea moths   1   1,230  
Lepidoptera: Cossoidea to Thyridoidea moths   20   1,910  
Lepidoptera: Pyraloidea moths   1   1,670  
Lepidoptera: Geometroidea, Drepanoidea, Uranoidea moths   3   2,359  
Lepidoptera: Hesperioidea, Papilionoidea butterflies Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 5 401 401 100%
Lepidoptera: Bombycoidea, Sphingoidea moths   7   310  
Lepidoptera: Noctuoidea (excl. Heliothinae) moths   7   2,676  
Lepidoptera: Noctuoidea: Heliothinae moths       39  
Hymenoptera: Symphyta: Xiphydrioidea sawflies Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 4 5 80%
Hymenoptera: Symphyta (rest) sawflies   5 154 171 90%
Hymenoptera: Stephanoidea parasitic wasps Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 21 25 84%
Hymenoptera: Trigonaloidea parasitic wasps Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 10 10 *
Hymenoptera: Megalyroidea parasitic wasps Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 22 22 *
Hymenoptera: Ceraphronoidea parasitic wasps   2 80 100 80%
Hymenoptera: Evanioidea parasitic wasps Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 3 261 300 87%
Hymenoptera: Proctotrupoidea proctotrupoids Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 5 180 400 45%
Hymenoptera: Platygastroidea parasitic wasps Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 2 626 1000 63%
Hymenoptera: Cynipoidea parasitic wasps   6 70 100 70%
Hymenoptera: Ichneumonoidea: Braconidae braconids Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 578 2890 20%
Hymenoptera: Ichneumonoidea: Ichneumonidae ichneumonids   1 746 1,244 60%
Hymenoptera: Mymarommatoidea   Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 3   *
Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea chalcids Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 18 3,357 3,646 92%
Hymenoptera: Chrysidoidea chrysidid wasps Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 6 165 275 60%
Hymenoptera: Vespoidea potter wasps, social wasps Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 352 500 70%
Hymenoptera: Vespoidea: Formicidae ants Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 1,089 1,196 91%
Hymenoptera: Sphecoidea mud-daubers, sand wasps Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 4 897 897 *
Hymenoptera: Apoidea bees Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 5 1,647 1,698 97%
Echinodermata echinoderms Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 104 1,165 1,406 83%
Hemichordata hemichordates Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 7 17 22 77%
Tunicata sea squirts, doliolids, salps Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 31 757 780 97%
Cephalochordata lancelets Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 1 8 8 *
Agnatha lampreys, hagfishes, slime eels Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 2 5 10 50%
Chondrichthyes, Sarcopterygii sharks, rays, lungfish Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 45 230 230 *
Pisces (not Acanthopterygii) fish 1 Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 96 993 993 *
Pisces: Acanthopterygii fish 2 Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 185 3,251 3,251 *
Amphibia frogs, toads, newts Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 5 220 220 100%
Reptilia lizards, snakes Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 16 879 879 100%
Aves birds Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 91 826 826 100%
Prototheria platypus, echidna Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 2 2 2 100%
Marsupialia marsupials Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 16 160 160 100%
Eutheria placental mammals Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 29 223 223 100%
Totals (includes estimates and some taxa incomplete)   Click here to go to Details of Taxa Databased table 3,616 104,662 247,263 42%

You can also see the Details of Taxa Databased.

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