Diversity patterns and seasonality of hawkmoths (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) from northern Western Ghats of Maharashtra, India

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Aditi Sunil Shere-Kharwar
Sujata M. Magdum
G.D. Khedkar
Supriya Singh Gupta


As most of the biodiversity studies report the abundance and enlist the species, there is severe data deficiency in understanding the diversity patterns. The present study was designed to carry out periodic diversity assessments to understand the trends in diversity patterns of hawk moths. The study was carried out in the northern Western Ghats in Nashik district.  Seven sampling stations were identified and periodic visits to these places were carried out over the span of five years (2011–2015). A total of 463 moths were recorded belonging to 18 species, represented by 10 genera. A new record from Western Ghat, Theretra sumatrensis (Joicey & Kaye 1917) is reported for the first time along with its DNA barcode. Six diversity indices (four alpha diversity indices and two beta diversity indices) were employed to understand the diversity dynamics. Whittaker’s plot was generated using the rank abundance suggesting high species evenness for all sampling stations. Maximum diversity was observed during Monsoon. Wani was the most diverse sampling station throughout the study period (Shannon’s Index = 2.7132±0.060; Simpson’s Index = 0.9273±0.006; Brillouin’s Index = 2.252±0.089; Fisher’s alpha = 10.9472±1.685). Beta diversity was assessed with the help of Dice’s coefficient and Jaccard’s similarity index. Hence, we recommend rigorous periodic diversity assessments to generate adequate information about diversity that expedites conservational strategies’ pace. 

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