Ant (Family: Formicidae) Diversity in Two Urban Landscapes of Kolkata
Keywords:Ant, Formicidae, Kolkata, Diversity, Urban
Ants are one of the most diverse and abundant organisms of terrestrial ecosystem. This study was carried out between September 2020 to August 2021 in two urban localities of Kolkata i.e., Subhas Sarovar (SS) and Salt-Lake (SL). This study aims to understand how diversity and distribution of ant species vary in different habitat types in an urban set up. Ants were collected along a transect followed by hand picking throughout the year. During the study, a total of 45 ant species under 6-subfamilies were collected which is approximately 11.7% ant diversity of West Bengal; subfamily Myrmicinae contains maximum species. SS consists 36 ant species while SL having 33 species. SS is more species rich and diverse and species dominance is less in this area than SL. SS, having a huge water body and diverse vegetation including plenty of trees, is well maintained in comparison to SL where dominance is more and diversity is less. Dominance of Camponotus compressus, presence of Tapinoma melanocephalum, Paratrechina longicornis indicate human interference and disturbance. This study emphasises the capacity of ants to adapt themselves and flourish in disturbed habitats especially urban areas. Rapid urbanization and climate change put enormous challenge on the ecosystem’s functioning and human wellbeing. This kind of diversity studies help making strategies for maintaining balance between human needs and ecological stability in urban areas.