Moth diversity (Lepidoptera: Heterocera) of Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India: a preliminary checklist

Keywords: BHU; checklist; conservation; Erebidae; moth; urbanization; Varanasi

Abstract

A study was conducted at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) campus of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India to assess the moth fauna of the area. A preliminary checklist was compiled as a base-line contribution to the status of the Lepidoptera diversity of the campus. The campus was surveyed from January to December 2019 and moths were recorded through 83-night surveys and a large number of opportunistic visits in 18 different sites of the campus. The study has recorded a total of 1248 individual moths belonging to 99 morphospecies, 84 genera, and 11 families across different parts of the study area. The most species rich family was Erebidae with 35 species under 30 genera followed by Crambidae (33 species; 28 genera), Geometridae (15 species; 11 genera), Noctuidae (seven species; six genera), and others. However, family-wise abundance data indicated that Crambidae (38.70%) was the most abundant family having highest proportion of moths recorded followed by Erebidae (34.85%), Geometridae (10.73%), Noctuidae (6.81%) and others. This illustrated checklist and the results will improve our understanding of Varanasi’s biodiversity and can be used for improvement of the campus planning and developing strategies for conservation of moth diversity.

Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

References

Bates AJ, Sadler JP, Grundy D, Lowe N, Davis G, Baker D, ...Young H (2014). Garden and landscape-scale correlates of moths of differing conservation status: significant effects of urbanization and habitat diversity. Plos One 9(1):e86925. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0086925

Bell TRD, Scott FB (1937). Fauna of British India, including Ceyon and Burma. Taylor and Francis (Volume 5), London.

Clark PJ, Reed JM, Chew FS (2007). Effects of urbanization on butterfly species richness, guild structure, and rarity. Urban Ecosystems 10:321-337. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11252-007-0029-4

Colding J, Barthel S (2017). The role of university campuses in reconnecting humans to the biosphere. Sustainability 9(12):2349. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122349

Dennis EB, Brereton TM, Morgan BJT, Fox R, Shortall CR, Prescott T, Foster S (2019). Trends and indicators for quantifying moth abundance and occupancy in Scotland. Journal of Insect Conservation 23:369-380. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-019-00135-z

Hallmann CA, Zeegers T, van Klink R, Vermeulen R, van Wielink P, Spijkers H, ... Jongejans E (2020). Declining abundance of beetles, moths and caddisflies in the Netherlands. Insect Conservation and Diversity 13:127-139. https://doi.org/10.1111/icad.12377

Hampson GF (1892). The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Taylor and Francis (Volume 1), London, pp 527.

Hampson GF (1894). The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Taylor and Francis (Volume 2), London, pp 609.

Hampson GF (1895). The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Taylor and Francis (Volume 3), London, pp 546.

Hampson GF (1896). The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Taylor and Francis (Volume 4), London, pp 594.

Heppner JB (2008). Moths (Lepidoptera: Heterocera). In: Capinera JL (Ed) Encyclopedia of Entomology. Springer, Dordrecht pp 2491-2494.

Holloway JD (1987). The moths of Borneo (Part 3): Lasiocampidae, Eupterotidae, Bombycidae, Brahmaeidae, Saturniidae, Sphingidae. Southdene Sdn. Bhd., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Holloway JD (1999). The moths of Borneo (part 5): family Lymantriidae. Malayan Nature Journal 53:1-188.

Holloway JD (2005). The moths of Borneo: family Noctuidae, subfamily catocalinae. Malayan Nature Journal 58(1-4):1-529.

Kirti JS, Singh N (2015). Arctiid moths of India. Nature Books (Volume 1), New Delhi, India.

Kononenko VS, Pinratana A (2013). Moth of Thailand Vol. 3, Part 2. Noctuoidea. An illustrated Catalogue of Erebidae, Nolidae, Euteliidae and Noctuidae (Insecta, Lepidoptera) in Thailand. Brothers of St Gabriel in Thailand, Bangkok.

Kumar M, Mukherjee N, Sharma GP, Raghubanshi AS (2010). Land use patterns and urbanization in the holy city of Varanasi, India: a scenario. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 167(1-4):417-422. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-009-1060-0

McGeoch MA, Chown SL (1997). Impact of urbanization on a gall-inhabiting Lepidoptera assemblage: the importance of reserves in urban areas. Biodiversity and Conservation 6:979-993. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1018315614085

Mukherjee A, Agrawal M (2018). Air pollutant levels are 12 times higher than guidelines in Varanasi, India. Sources and transfer. Environmental Chemistry Letters 16(3):1009-1016. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10311-018-0706-y

New TR (2018). Promoting and developing insect conservation in Australia’s urban environments. Austral Entomology 57:182-193. https://doi.org/10.1111/aen.12332

Nistor MM, Rai PK, Dugesar V, Mishra VN, Singh P, Arora A, ... Carebia IA (2020). Climate change effect on water resources in Varanasi district, India. Meteorological Applications 27:e1863. https://doi.org/10.1002/met.1863

Owens A, Lewis SM (2018). The impact of artificial light at night on nocturnal insects: A review and synthesis. Ecology and evolution 8(22):11337-11358. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4557

Plummer KE, Hale JD, O’Callaghan MJ, Sadler JP, Siriwardena GM (2016). Investigating the impact of street lighting changes on garden moth communities. Journal of Urban Ecology 2:1-10. https://doi.org/10.1093/jue/juw004

Raju KNP, Rai PK, Mohan K, Singh S, Srivastava A (2015). Master Plan of a Campus: Challenges and a Way Through Remote Sensing and GIS. Asian Journal of Geoinformatics 15:1-10.

Regier JC, Zwick A, Cummings MP, Kawahara AY, Cho S, Weller S, ... Mitter C (2009). Toward reconstructing the evolution of advanced moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera: Ditrysia): an initial molecular study. BMC Evolutionary Biology 9(1):280. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-9-280

Sanyal AK, Dey P, Uniyal V, Chandra K, Raha A (2017). Geometridae Stephens, 1829 from different altitudes in Western Himalayan Protected Areas of, India (Lepidoptera: Geometridae). SHILAP Revista de Lepidopterología 45:143-163.

Sanyal AK, Uniyal VP, Chandra K, Bhardwaj M (2011). Diversity and indicator species of moth (Lepidoptera:Heterocera) assemblages in different vegetation zones in Gangotri Landscape, Western Himalaya. ENVIS Bulletin: Arthropods and their conservation in India (Insects & Spiders) 14(1):116-132.

Schintlmeister A, Pinratana A (2007). Moths of Thailand. Brothers of St Gabriel in Thailand (Volume 5), Bangkok.

Smetacek P (2008). Moths recorded from different elevations in Nainital district, Kumaon Himalaya, India. Bionotes 10(1):5-15.

Smetacek P (2013). Review of Indian Lepidoptera Collections and their significance in conservation. ENVIS Bulletin: Arthropods and their conservation in India (Insects & Spiders) 14(1):135-139.

Sondhi S, Sondhi Y, Roy P, Kunte K (2020). Moths of India. v. 2.00. Indian Foundation for Butterflies. Retrieved 2020 April 1 from http://www.mothsofindia.org/

Sondhi Y, Sondhi S (2016). A partial checklist of moths (Lepidoptera) of Dehradun, Mussoorie and Devalsari in Garhwal, Uttarakhand, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 8(5):8756-8776. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.2814.8.5.8756-8776

Tan YQ, Dion E, Monteiro A (2018). Haze smoke impacts survival and development of butterflies. Scientific Reports 8:15667. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-34043-0

Theodorou P, Radzevičiūtė R, Lentendu G, Kahnt B, Husemann M, Bleidorn C, ... Paxton RJ (2020). Urban areas as hotspots for bees and pollination but not a panacea for all insects. Nature Communications 11(1):576. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-14496-6

van Langevelde F, Ettema JA, Donners M, Wallis DeVries MF, Groenendijk D (2011). Effect of spectral composition of artificial light on the attraction of moths. Biological Conservation 144(9):2274-2281. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2011.06.004

van Nieukerken EJ, Kaila L, Kitching IJ, Kristensen NP, Lees DC, Minet J, ... Zwick A (2011). Order Lepidoptera. In: Zhang Z-Q (Ed). Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness. Zootaxa 3148:212-221.

Verma A, Kumar M, Bussmann R (2007). Medicinal plants in an urban environment: The medicinal flora of Banares Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 3:35. https://doi.org/10.1186/1746-4269-3-35

Verma P, Sagar R, Verma H, Verma P, Singh DK (2015). Changes in species composition, diversity and biomass of herbaceous plant traits due to N amendment in a dry tropical environment of India. Journal of Plant Ecology 8(3):321-332. https://doi.org/10.1093/jpe/rtu018

Wahlberg N, Wheat CW, Peña C (2013). Timing and patterns in the taxonomic diversification of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths). Plos One 8(11):e80875. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0080875

Young BE, Auer S, Ormes M, Rapacciuolo G, Schweitzer D, Sears N (2017). Are pollinating hawk moths declining in the Northeastern United States? An analysis of collection records. Plos One 12:e0185683. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185683

Zhu W, Yan J, Song J, You P (2018). The first mitochondrial genomes for Pyralinae (Pyralidae) and Glaphyriinae (Crambidae), with phylogenetic implications of Pyraloidea. Plos One 13(3):e0194672. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0194672

Published
2020-09-29
How to Cite
NAYAK, A., & GHOSH, S. (2020). Moth diversity (Lepidoptera: Heterocera) of Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India: a preliminary checklist. Notulae Scientia Biologicae, 12(3), 592-607. https://doi.org/10.15835/nsb12310749
Section
Research articles