SPECIES DIVERSITY OF PREDACEOUS COCCINELLIDS IN DIFFERENT CROP ECOSYSTEMS UNDER THE HILLY AND TERAI REGION OF WEST BENGAL (INDIA)Biwash Gurung, Ponnusamy N. and Suprakash Pal
Studying the biodiversity of coccinellids in the agroecosystem has immense value as it plays an important role in pest management. Regular field surveys were conducted during the period from December 2015- April 2017 in two locations, i.e. Pundibari (terai region) and Kalimpong (hill region) of West Bengal (India) to study the species diversity of coccinellids in various agricultural and horticultural crop ecosystems. Amongst the agricultural crops surveyed at Pundibari, wheat was found to exhibit the highest species richness with ten different species of coccinellids followed by rice (5 species). Maize, mustard and linseed showed a species richness of 3 each. Micraspis discolor (Fabricius) was recorded as the most dominant species in rice, wheat and linseed whereas, Coccinella transversalis Fabricius was the most abundant in maize and mustard followed by Micraspis discolor. In horticultural crops, brinjal showed the highest species richness of 10 species of coccinellids followed by chilli (8), cowpea (7), okra (4) and cabbage (3). These vegetables were mostly dominated by Coccinella transversalis. Amongst the fruit and plantation crops citrus (5) exhibited the highest species richness followed by som (2) and mango (1). At Kalimpong the highest species richness was observed with rose (4 species) followed by celery (3). Other crops like citrus, fennel and mustard were represented by 2 species each. In general, the horticultural crop ecosystems were found to have higher species richness of coccinellids as compared to agricultural crop ecosystems in both the locations.
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