Joydeb Majumder, Rahul Lodh, B. K. Agarwala
Journal of Insect Science 13 (79), 1-13, (1 August 2013) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.013.7901
KEYWORDS: habitat selection, moist deciduous forest, richness estimator
Several wildlife sanctuaries in the world are home to the surviving populations of many endemic species. Trishna wildlife sanctuary in northeast India is protected by law, and is home to the last surviving populations of Asian bison (Bos gorus Smith), spectacle monkey (Trachypithecus phayrie Blyth), capped langur (Trachypithecus pileatus Blyth), slow loris (Nycticebus coucang Boddaert), wild cat (Felis chaus Schreber), and wild boars (Sus scrofa L.), among many other animals and plants. The sanctuary was explored for species richness and diversity of butterflies. A six-month-long study revealed the occurrence of 59 butterfly species that included 21 unique species and 9 species listed in the threatened category. The mixed moist deciduous mature forest of the sanctuary harbored greater species richness and species diversity (39 species under 31 genera) than other parts of the sanctuary, which is comprised of regenerated secondary mixed deciduous forest (37 species under 32 genera), degraded forests (32 species under 28 genera), and open grassland with patches of plantations and artificial lakes (24 species under 17 genera). The majority of these species showed a distribution range throughout the Indo-Malayan region and Australasia tropics, and eight species were distributed in the eastern parts of South Asia, including one species, Labadea martha (F.), which is distributed in the eastern Himalayas alone. Estimator Chao 2 provided the best-predicted value of species richness. The steep slope of the species accumulation curve suggested the occurrence of a large number of rare species, and a prolonged gentle slope suggested a higher species richness at a higher sample abundance. The species composition of vegetation-rich habitats showed high similarity in comparison to vegetation-poor habitats.