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