Diversity pattern of butterfly communities (Lepidoptera) in different habitat types of Nahan, Himachal Pradesh, India

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Suveena Thakur
Suneet Bahrdwaj
Amar Paul Singh


Diversity and similarity of butterfly communities were assessed in three different habitat types in the mountains of Nahan, Himachal Pradesh, from May 2012 to April 2013. A total of 75 species and five families were reported. Proportion of species was highest in deciduous dry forest (49%), followed by Shorea (Saal) forest (34%), and Pinus (Cheer) forest (17%). Family Pieridae was dominant followed by Nymphalidae in all three habitat types. Cluster analysis revealed that Cheer forest  stood out clearly from Dry and Saal forest which represents the different species composition. We found significant differences in butterfly diversity in the three forest types based on Shannon index, Simpson dominance index, and Buzas & Gibson’s evenness. These differences may be attributable to variations in host and nectar plant distribution. Of the habitats surveyed, dry deciduous forest appeared to be the most suitable for butterfly conservation.

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