SPECIES COMPOSITION AND DENSITY OF ENTOMOFAUNA VIS A VIS ALTITUDINAL VARIATIONS AND DISTURBANCES IN NANDA DEVI BIOSPHERE RESERVE, UTTRANCHAL, INDIAP.C. JOSHI, K. KOTHARI, V.P. BADONI, M. ARYA AND A. AGARWAL
Species composition and population density of insects at different altitudes of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve was studied. The studied habitats included sites with no disturbance, a moderate level of disturbance and site with a very high level of disturbances situated between 2000m to 3500m. The species composition and density of insects varied in all the four study sites and effect of altitude and disturbances associated with other ecological and climatic parameters was quite evident. Site at the lowest altitude with moderate level of disturbances supported highest number of individuals belonging to 74 species. Population density of insects in this site varied between 36.0 insects/ha to 773.6 insects/ha. Site 3 at an altitude of 3000m with highest level of disturbances among all the four studied sites supported maximum (77) number of species while the insect density varied between 10.0 insects/ha to 930.0 insects/ha. As a whole a total of 91 species of insects belonging to 33 families and 7 order were recorded from the entire western part of biosphere reserve. Order Lepidoptera with 18 species was the most dominant insect order followed by Hymenoptera (15), Orthoptera (14), Coleoptera (14), Odonata (11), Diptera (11) and Hemiptera (8). Pieris canidia indica Sparr and Aulocera swaha swaha Koll (Lepidoptera: Pieridae), Rhinocoris reuteri Dist (Hemiptera:Reduridae), Vespa velutina auraria Smith (Hymenoptera: Vespidae), Attica himensis Shukla (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), Xenocatantops karnyi Kirby and Oedipoda himalayana Uvarov (Orthotera: Acrididae), Protaetia neglecta Hope (Coleoptera:Scarabaeidae), and Syrphus fulivifacies Bruneti (Diptera: Syrphidae) were the abundant species in the area.
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