New invertebrate colonists

Land invertebrates travel to Iceland on a regular basis. Some invertebrates, such as flying insects, may be windborne. Others arrive accidentally due to human activities, for example in imported goods. Not much is known about the original fauna of Iceland before human settlement in the ninth century. Presumably, humans have been responsible for colonization of a great number of species now accepted as indigenous. Climate change is gradually making Iceland a more feasible habitat for new arrivals. Most accidentally imported invertebrates are found in urban settings, such as buildings and home gardens, or environments otherwise connected with other activities.

IINH specialists monitor new invertebrate colonists closely. Some thrive, but others manage poorly. Specimens and data are collected and preserved, and longer-term trends for individual species are studied.

IINH Contact: Erling Ólafsson