Land invertebrates

Land invertebrates in Iceland belong to several phyla. Arthropods (Arthropoda) constitute the most species-rich phylum, with approximately 2,000 known species, including insects, arachnids, millipedes, and crustaceans. Other phyla are much species-poorer. These include the molluscs (Mollusca), with 46 species of snails and slugs, and the annelids (Annelida), with 13 species of earthworms (Lumbricidae) and unknown number of potworm species (Enchytraeidae).

Scientists at the IINH carry out diverse research on land invertebrates. The most extensive project focuses on documenting the land invertebrate species currently found in Iceland, their distribution, their habitat, and their life. Colonisation by new species is also monitored and how well these species fare. Land invertebrate samples are collected from all over Iceland, from natural habitats and the human environment. Samples are sorted by species and stored in the IINH Scientific Collections. Information about samples is entered into a database to make them easily accessible for further processing.

Other IINH research projects on land invertebrates are narrower in scope. These include studies on the environmental impact on land invertebrate communities, postglacial land invertebrate colonisation and evolution of communities in Iceland, and long-term monitoring of butterflies and moths.

The Icelandic version of the website includes fact sheets on bugs that have been found in Iceland and maps of their distribution – BROWSE AND SEARCH FOR BUGS.