An Insight into the Taxonomy and Diversity of Pollinating Hoverflies (Insecta: Diptera: Syrphidae) from Dry Deciduous Landscape of West Bengal
Keywords:Pollinator, Hoverfly, Food security, Diversity, Ecosystem
Alternative uses of land use pattern have caused declination in pollinator globally. The current pollinator catastrophe anomaly affects food scarcity, magnifies problems with hidden hunger, erodes ecological resilience and threatens ecosystems. Despite visiting at least 72% of global food crops, dipteran pollinators always have received much less research attention than hymenopterans. Hoverflies (Insecta:Diptera: Syrphidae) being one of the largest pollinator group from the Dipteran lineage is worthy of more research priorities. The study on this group of flies represents a huge research gap, particularly from the plain land ecosystems of West Bengal. According to the report, the ISHI score (India State Hunger Index) is 20.97 which is atan alarming level. The current study includes a detailed systematics & diversity analysis of this pollinator from the dry deciduous landscape (Sonamukhi Forest) from the state. For the current study purpose, pollinators have been collected by net sweeping & by using different traps over 3 years. The detailed study includes 20 species under 16 genera over two subfamilies where Syrphinae (53%) are more prevalent than Eristalinae (47%). The most prevalent species is found to be Episyrphus (Episyrphus) balteatus (De Geer, 1776) whereas Sphaerophoria indiana Bigot, 1884 is rarely present in all the seasons. On the other hand, the results of the diversity analysis study show species diversity to be at its highest during the Pre-Monsoon season (H = 4.261) and its lowest during the Monsoon season (H=1.12). Further detailed studies at periodic interval are necessary for more accurate database development and for ecosystem monitoring.