Diversity and population dynamics of phytophagous scarabaeid beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in different landscapes of Himachal Pradesh, India
Scarabaeid beetles constitute a major group of defoliators of cultivated and wild plants. Therefore, it is important to understand their diversity, abundance and distribution for planning effective pest management programmes. We surveyed scarabaeid beetles from 8 landscapes from different zones in Himachal Pradesh (N 32 o 29' and E 75 o 10'), India. In 2011 and 2012, surveys were conducted during 4 months period (May-August) by using UV light traps. A total of 13,569 scarabaeid adults of 20
... ra and 56 species belonging to subfamilies Melolonthinae, Rutelinae, Cetoniinae and Dynastinae were recorded. The five most common species were Brahmina coriacea, Adoretus lasiopygus, Anomala lineatopennis, Maladera insanabilis and Holotrichia longipennis. They comprised 9.88-10.05, 7.18-7.76, 7.13-7.27, 6.80-7.62 and 5.22-5.30% during 2011-12, respectively. Anomala (10 species) was the most dominant genus in the present study, whereas Melolonthinae was the most dominant subfamily accounting 53.23% of total scarabs collected from the study sites. Among different landscapes, Palampur had maximum diversity and abundance, while Shillaroo had least diversity but more abundance of single species B. coriacea. The value of alpha diversity indices viz. Shannon index was maximum (H'=3.01-3.03) at Palampur. This indicates maximum evenness and abundance of species at Palampur. Shillaroo had lowest Shannon index (H'=1.12-1.17) and Pielou's evenness index (J'=0.46-0.49). This showed least species diversity and higher unevenness of scarabaeid beetles at Shillaroo. The results of beta diversity analysis revealed poor similarity of scarabaeid species between different sites confirming that the scarabaeid community in the north western Himalayan regions is much diverse.