Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Search results for: isoptera

4 Effect of Varied Climate, Landuse and Human Activities on the Termite (Isoptera: Insecta) Diversity in Three Different Habitats of Shivamogga District, Karnataka, India

Authors: C. M. Kalleshwaraswamy, G. S. Sathisha, A. S. Vidyashree, H. B. Pavithra

Abstract:

Isoptera are an interesting group of social insects with different castes and division of labour. They are primarily wood-feeders, but also feed on a variety of other organic substrates, such as living trees, leaf litter, soil, lichens and animal faeces. The number of species and their biomass are especially large in tropics. In natural ecosystems, they perform a beneficial role in nutrient cycles by accelerating decomposition. The magnitude and dimension of ecological role played by termites is a function of their diversity, population density, and biomass. Termite assemblage composition has a strong response to habitat disturbance and may be indicative of quantitative changes in the decomposition process. Many previous studies in Western Ghat region of India suggest increased anthropogenic activities that adversely affect the soil macrofauna and diversity. Shivamogga district provides a good opportunity to study the effect of topography, cropping pattern, human disturbance on the termite fauna, thereby acquiring accurate baseline information for conservation decision making. The district has 3 distinct agro-ecological areas such as maidan area, semi-malnad and Western Ghat region. Thus, the district provides a unique opportunity to study the effect of varied climate and anthropogenic disturbance on the termite diversity. The standard protocol of belt transects method developed by Eggleton et al. (1997) was used for sampling termites. Sampling was done at monthly interval from September-2014 to August-2015 in Western Ghats, semi-malnad and maidan habitats. The transect was 100m long and 2m wide and divided into 20 contiguous sections, each 5 x 2m in each habitat. Within each section, all the probable microhabitats of termites were searched, which include dead logs, fallen tree, branch, sticks, leaf litter, vegetation etc.,. All the castes collected were labelled, preserved in 80% alcohol, counted and identified to species level. The number of encounters of a species in the transect was used as an indicator of relative abundance of species. The species diversity, species richness, density were compared in three different habitats such as Western Ghats, semi-malnad and maidan region. The study indicated differences in the species composition in the three different habitats. A total of 15 species were recorded which belonging to four sub family and five genera in three habitats. Eleven species viz., Odontotermes obesus, O. feae, O. anamallensis, O. bellahunisensis, O. adampurensis, O. boveni, Microcerotermes fletcheri, M. pakistanicus, Nasutitermes anamalaiensis, N. indicola, N. krishna were recorded in Western Ghat region. Similarly, 11 species viz., Odontotermes obesus, O. feae, O. anamallensis, O. bellahunisensis, O. hornii, O. bhagwathi, Microtermes obesi, Microcerotermes fletcheri, M. pakistanicus, Nasutitermes indicola and Pericapritermes sp. were recorded in semi-malnad habitat. However, only four species viz., O. obesus, O. feae, Microtemes obesi and Pericapritermes sp. species were recorded in maidan area. Shannon’s wiener diversity index (H) showed that Western Ghats had more species dominance (1.56) followed by semi- malnad (1.36) and lowest in maidan (0.89) habitats. Highest value of simpson’s index (D) was observed in Western Ghats habitat (0.70) with more diverse species followed by semi-malnad (0.58) and lowest in maidan (0.53). Similarly, evenness was highest (0.65) in Western Ghats followed by maidan (0.64) and least in semi-malnad habitat (0.54). Menhinick’s index (Dmn) value was ranging from 0.03 to 0.06 in different habitats in the study area. Highest index was observed in Western Ghats (0.06) followed by semi-malnad (0.05) and lowest in maidan (0.03). The study conclusively demonstrated that Western Ghat had highest species diversity compared to semi-malnad and maidan habitat indicating these two habitats are continuously subjected to anthropogenic disturbances. Efforts are needed to conserve the uncommon species which otherwise may become extinct due to human activities.

Keywords: anthropogenic disturbance, isoptera, termite species diversity, Western ghats

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3 Genetic Diversity of Termite (Isoptera) Fauna of Western Ghats of India

Authors: A. S. Vidyashree, C. M. Kalleshwaraswamy, R. Asokan, H. M. Mahadevaswamy

Abstract:

Termites are very vital ecological thespians in tropical ecosystem, having been designated as “ecosystem engineers”, due to their significant role in providing soil ecosystem services. Despite their importance, our understanding of a number of their basic biological processes in termites is extremely limited. Developing a better understanding of termite biology is closely dependent upon consistent species identification. At present, identification of termites is relied on soldier castes. But for many species, soldier caste is not reported, that creates confusion in identification. The use of molecular markers may be helpful in estimating phylogenetic relatedness between the termite species and estimating genetic differentiation among local populations within each species. To understand this, termites samples were collected from various places of Western Ghats covering four states namely Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra during 2013-15. Termite samples were identified based on their morphological characteristics, molecular characteristics, or both. Survey on the termite fauna in Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu indicated the presence of a 16 species belongs to 4 subfamilies under two families viz., Rhinotermitidae and Termitidae. Termititidae was the dominant family which was belonging to 4 genera and four subfamilies viz., Macrotermitinae, Amitermitinae, Nasutitermitinae and Termitinae. Amitermitinae had three species namely, Microcerotermes fletcheri, M. pakistanicus and Speculitermes sinhalensis. Macrotermitinae had the highest number of species belonging two genera, namely Microtermes and Odontotermes. Microtermes genus was with only one species i.e., Microtermes obesi. The genus Odontotermes was represented by the highest number of species (07), namely, O. obesus was the dominant (41 per cent) and the most widely distributed species in Karnataka, Karala, Maharashtra and Tamil nadu followed by O. feae (19 per cent), O.assmuthi (11 per cent) and others like O. bellahunisensis O. horni O. redemanni, O. yadevi. Nasutitermitinae was represented by two genera namely Nasutitermes anamalaiensis and Trinervitermes biformis. Termitinae subfamily was represented by Labiocapritermes distortus. Rhinotermitidae was represented by single subfamily Heterotermetinae. In Heterotermetinae, two species namely Heterotermes balwanthi and H. malabaricus were recorded. Genetic relationship among termites collected from various locations of Western Ghats of India was characterized based on mitochondrial DNA sequences (12S, 16S, and COII). Sequence analysis and divergence among the species was assessed. These results suggest that the use of both molecular and morphological approaches is crucial in ensuring accurate species identification. Efforts were made to understand their evolution and to address the ambiguities in morphological taxonomy. The implication of the study in revising the taxonomy of Indian termites, their characterization and molecular comparisons between the sequences are discussed.

Keywords: isoptera, mitochondrial DNA sequences, rhinotermitidae, termitidae, Western ghats

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2 Foraging Ecology and Diet of the Philippine Spotted Flying Lizard, Draco Spilopterus (Wiegmann, 1834), in Luzon Biogeographic Region

Authors: Michael A. Tabug, Arvin C. Diesmos

Abstract:

The foraging ecology of the Philippine endemic Draco spilopterus was studied through a combination of in-situ field observations and laboratory examinations of specimens of the species. A total of four populations of the species were studied across the Luzon Biogeographic Region between June 2017 and March 2019. Of the 59 lizards captured, gut contents of 54 individuals were studied. A total of 2933 food items were sorted into seven types, such as Formicidae (ants) (96%), Araneae (spiders) (0.034%), Coleoptera (beetles) (0.579%), Hemiptera (scale insects) (0.102%), Isoptera (termites) (2.796%), Lepidoptera (larvae) (0.307%), and Diplopoda (millipede) (0.102%). Diet analysis revealed that D. spilopterus fed mainly on insect arthropods and were dominated by ants (Formicidae). Of the four populations studied, lizards consumed a relatively high proportion of ants (96%), which strongly implies that D. spilopterus is a specialist predator and a sit-and-wait active forager. The observed feeding activities of D. spilopterus also show that it is diurnal forager and actively hunts for prey from 0830 hr to 1658 hr, with decreasing activity during midday. Draco spilopterus lizards were also observed to use a wide spectrum of perch heights while foraging, regardless of the dimension of trees.

Keywords: ant specialists, diet analysis, flying lizards, foraging ecology, Luzon Biogeographic Region

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1 DNA Fingerprinting of Some Major Genera of Subterranean Termites (Isoptera) (Anacanthotermes, Psammotermes and Microtermes) from Western Saudi Arabia

Authors: AbdelRahman A. Faragalla, Mohamed H. Alqhtani, Mohamed M. M.Ahmed

Abstract:

Saudi Arabia has currently been beset by a barrage of bizarre assemblages of subterranean termite fauna, inflicting heavy catastrophic havocs on human valued properties in various homes, storage facilities, warehouses, agricultural and horticultural crops including okra, sweet pepper, tomatoes, sorghum, date palm trees, citruses and many forest domains and green lush desert oases. The most pressing urgent priority is to use modern technologies to alleviate the painstaking obstacle of taxonomic identification of these injurious noxious pests that might lead to effective pest control in both infested agricultural commodities and field crops. Our study has indicated the use of DNA fingerprinting technologies, in order to generate basic information of the genetic similarity between 3 predominant families containing the most destructive termite species. The methodologies included extraction and DNA isolation from members of the major families and the use of randomly selected primers and PCR amplifications with the nucleotide sequences. GC content and annealing temperatures for all primers, PCR amplifications and agarose gel electrophoresis were also conducted in addition to the scoring and analysis of Random Amplification Polymorphic DNA-PCR (RAPDs). A phylogenetic analysis for different species using statistical computer program on the basis of RAPD-DNA results, represented as a dendrogram based on the average of band sharing ratio between different species. Our study aims to shed more light on this intriguing subject, which may lead to an expedited display of the kinship and relatedness of species in an ambitious undertaking to arrive at correct taxonomic classification of termite species, discover sibling species, so that a logistic rational pest management strategy could be delineated.

Keywords: DNA fingerprinting, Western Saudi Arabia, DNA primers, RAPD

Procedia PDF Downloads 359