Species Diversity of Phytophagous Scarab Fauna (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in Western Ghats of Kerala, India
Keywords:Scarabaeidae, Species diversity, Wayanad, Malappuram, Palakkad, Idukki, Kerala
Surveys were carried out during March to August months of 2021 and 2022 to document the species diversity of phytophagous scarabs in selected locations of four districts of Kerala viz., Wayanad, Malappuram, Palakkad and Idukki, which cover rich biodiversity hotspots in the Western Ghats. The explorations yielded 1953 specimens belonging to 60 species under 18 genera of subfamilies Melolonthinae, Rutelinae and Dynastinae, of which Melolonthinae is the most speciose representing 11 genera. Various diversity indices revealed variations in species diversity in terms of species richness and evenness among the surveyed locations. Six species viz., Anomalachela bicolor (Brenske, 1892), Sophrops karschi (Brenske, 1892), Apogonia proxima Waterhouse, 1877, Apogonia sp.1, Maladera rufocuprea (Blanchard, 1850) and Anomala communis (Burmeister, 1844) were found to be common in all the four surveyed districts while ten species each were observed to be specific to Palakkad and Idukki districts. The species distribution and dynamics across the districts are discussed.