COMPARATIVE STUDY ON SPECIES COMPOSITION AND DIVERSITY OF INSECTS IN THE SOUTH PARK STREET CEMETERY AND BANABITAN PARK, WEST BENGAL, INDIAHiroj Kumar Saha and Labani Islam
Insects, which represent the most species-rich taxa, are extremely important ecosystem components and help to perform various activities which are necessary for an ecological balance. They play a major role in maintaining the structure and function of the ecosystems. Parks and Cemeteries take over various functions in urban areas like providing important habitats for a variety of species. Cemeteries are important components of the urban green infrastructure, simply because of their number and the area they cover. The conservation of insects is necessary to sustain varied kinds of ecosystem services for human well-being. Insects constitute a major source of food for birds, mammals, reptiles and other taxonomic groups of animals. They serve as scavengers to clean up the systems of dead materials as well as contribute immensely to decomposition. This study was performed from August 2017 to January 2018, through regular surveys at fifteen days interval to obtain the list of insects from the South Park Street Cemetery (Kolkata) and Banabitan Park (Saltlake). During the entire periods five insect orders (Lepidoptera, Hemiptera, Orthoptera, Coleoptera and Odonata) were recorded. Lepidopteran diversity was highest in the study area in both the habitats. Occurrence of species diversity and abundance were maximum in the months of October and minimum in the months of January. Diversity and species number were highest in Park Street Cemetery and lowest in Banabitan Park due to more human interference in Banabitan Park. Cemeteries offer a variety of structures enabling a wide range of species. Hence, cemeteries are particularly valuable for urban biodiversity conservation. Insects are therefore treated as an important model group in ecology and conservation.