Stomach contents of the Indian Pangolin Manis crassicaudata (Mammalia: Pholidota: Manidae) in tropical forests of southern India

Main Article Content

Mohanarangan Ashokkumar
http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3880-9991
Dipika Valsarajan
http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3366-3903
M. Arjun Suresh
http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0428-789X
Anuraj R. Kaimal
http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9428-1944
George Chandy
http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0557-6143

Abstract

The Indian Pangolin, Manis crassicaudata is a nocturnal, elusive, sparsely distributed, poorly studied and rapidly declining species.  The stomach contents of a female Indian Pangolin were analysed from a road kill specimen collected from the South Wayanad Forest Division in Kerala on September 2013 and confirms that they are myrmecophagous, i.e., feeding primarily on ants and ant eggs.  The morphometry of the head and position of the eye in the head was used to identify the ant species consumed, which was found to be exclusively Leptogenys sp. with head size of one to two millimeter.  Since the abundance of the ant species was not available, the preference could not be determined.  Rather, our preliminary survey in the area revealed that Leptogenys sp. is the most abundant in the tropical moist deciduous forest of Wayanad, Kerala.  The soft parts of the ant body were digested while only the heads remained in the stomach content.  Similarly, only hard egg shells could be identified from the content.  The major proportion of the stomach content was grit (50%), both in frequency and biomass.  Ant head constituted higher biomass (41.3%) and lower frequency (22.5%) whereas ant egg shells were found in higher number (29%) with a low biomass (1.8%).  The present observation gives insight into ant species selection and biomass contribution.  Though the biomass of ant head was higher, its contribution to the Indian Pangolin nutrient intake is unknown. Further research is needed to better understand the diet of the Indian Pangolin.

Article Details

How to Cite
[1]
Ashokkumar, M., Valsarajan, D., Suresh, M.A., Kaimal, A.R. and Chandy, G. 2017. Stomach contents of the Indian Pangolin Manis crassicaudata (Mammalia: Pholidota: Manidae) in tropical forests of southern India. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 9, 5 (May 2017), 10246–10248. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.2873.9.5.10246-10248.
Section
Notes
Author Biographies

Mohanarangan Ashokkumar, Center for Wildlife Studies, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Pookode, Wayanad – 673 576, Kerala.

Senior Research officer,
Center for Wildlife Studies,
Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Pookode, Wayanad – 673 576

Dipika Valsarajan, Pilikula Biological Park, Mangaluru- 575028

Veterinary Officer, Pilikula Biological Park, Dr. Shivarama Karantha Pilikula Nisarga Dhama, Mangaluru- 575028

M. Arjun Suresh, Center for Wildlife Studies, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Pookode, Wayanad – 673 576, Kerala.

MS (Wildlife Studeis)

Centre for Wildlife Studies, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University,
Pookode, Wayanad – 673 576

Anuraj R. Kaimal, Center for Wildlife Studies, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Pookode, Wayanad – 673 576, Kerala.

MS (Wildlife Studeis)

Centre for Wildlife Studies, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University,
Pookode, Wayanad – 673 576

George Chandy, Center for Wildlife Studies, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Pookode, Wayanad – 673 576, Kerala.

Course director

Centre for Wildlife Studies, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University,
Pookode, Wayanad – 673 576

References

Anonymous (2009). R Development Core Team, R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria.

Anonymous (2016a). The status, trade and conservation of Pangolins (Manis sp.) information document for 17th Meeting of the Conference of the parties of CITES.

Anonymous (2016b). AntWeb. Available from http://www.antweb.org. Downloaded on 16 January 2016.

Anu, A. & T.K. Sabu (2007). Biodiversity analysis of forest litter ant assemblages in the Wayanad region of Western Ghats using taxonomic and conventional diversity measures. Journal of Insect Science 7: 6; http://doi.org/10.1673/031.007.0601

Atkins, W.A. (2004). Pholidota Pangolins (Manidae). In: Grzimek, B., D.G. Kleiman, V. Geist & M.C. McDade (eds.), Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia, Volume 16. Thomson-Gale, Detroit, 704pp.

Baillie, J., D. Challender, P. Kaspal, A. Khatiwada, R. Mohapatra & H. Nash (2014). Manis crassicaudata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T12761A45221874. Downloaded on 15 April 2017. http://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-2.RLTS.T12761A45221874.en

Bingham, C.T. (1903). The Fauna of British India - Hymenoptera, Vol - 2. Taylor and Francis, London

Bolton, B. (1994). Identification Guide to The Ant Genera of the World. Harvard University Press, London, 222pp.

Challender, D.W.S., C. Waterman & J.E.M. Baillie (2014). Scaling up Pangolin conservation. IUCN SSC, Pangolin Specialist Group Conservation Action Plan. Zoological Society of London, London, UK, 21pp.

d’Aulaire, E. & P.O. d’Aulaire (1983). Pangolins are all the rage. International Wildlife 13: 14–16.

Heath, M.E. (1995). Manis crassicaudata. Mammalian species 513: 1–4.

Hutton, A.F. (1949). Notes on the Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 48: 805–806.

Krause, W.J. & C.R. Lesson (1974). The stomach of the Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) with emphasis on the pyloric teeth, Acta annatomica. 88: 1–10.

Mahmood, T., K. Jabeen, I. Hussain & A.R. Kayani (2013). Plant species association, burrow characteristics and the diet of the Indian Pangolin, Manis crassicaudata, in the Potohar Plateau, Pakistan. Journal of Zoology 45: 1533–1539.

Nowak, R.M. (1991). Walker’s Mammals of the World. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA. 2015pp.

Pietersen, D.W., C.T. Symes, S. Woodborne, A.E. Mckechnie & R. Jansen (2015). Diet and prey selectivity of the specialist myrmecophage, Temminck’s ground pangolin. Journal of Zoology 298: 198–208.

Prater, S.H. (1971). The Book of Indian Animals. Bombay Natural History Society, Oxford University Press, Chennai, 348pp.

Schlitter, D.A. (2005). Order Pholidota, pp. 530–531. In: Wilson, D.E. & D.M. Reeder (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

Stewart, J.M., P.R.K. Richardson & J.W.H. Ferguson (1999). Ecological factors affecting the feeding behaviour of Pangolins (Manis temminckii). Journal of Zoology 247: 281–292.

Most read articles by the same author(s)