Guild structure, diversity and succession of dung beetles associated with Indian elephant dung in South Western Ghats forests

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2006
Authors:T. K. Sabu, Vinod, K. V., Vineesh, P. J.
Journal:Journal of Insect Science
Date Published:Sep
ISBN Number:1536-2442
Accession Number:ISI:000241413800001
Keywords:Catharsius sagax, Copris davisoni, Copris repertus, Copris signatus, Drepanocerus setosus, Gymnopleurus melanarius, Heliocopris dominus, Liatongus indicus, Oniticellus cinctus, Onitis siva, Onitis subopacus, Ontho, Onthophagus bronzeus, Onthophagus cervus

The diversity, guild structure and succession of dung beetles associated with Indian elephant dung is described in a deciduous forest site in Western Ghats, a hot spot of diversity in India. Dung beetles were collected using baited pitfall traps and from exposed dung pats in the forest at intervals of 1, 3, 5, 7, 15 and 21 days. Twenty-one dung beetle species belonging to the 3 major functional guilds were recorded. Abundance of dwellers was high compared to rollers deviating from earlier reports on the high abundance of rollers in the afrotropical regions. Dweller Drepanocerus setosus and tunneler Onthophagus bronzeus were the most abundant species. Dung pats aged 3-5 days attracted the highest abundance of dung beetles. Bray Curtis similarity index indicated low community similarity between different stages of succession. Species richness and abundance of tunnelers increased with dung age and decreasing moisture up to a threshold level, followed by a decrease. Rollers and dwellers did not show any significant relationship with dung moisture content. Further research is needed to estimate the dung beetle community associated with the dung pats of other mega herbivores as well as of elephant dung in other forests of the Western Ghats.

URL:<Go to ISI>://000241413800001
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith