Diversity, distribution pattern and seasonal variation in moth assemblages along altitudinal gradient in Gangotri landscape area, Western Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India

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A.K. Sanyal
V.P. Uniyal
K. Chandra
M. Bhardwaj


Field survey was conducted at different altitudes and land-use areas in the two protected areas, viz., Gangotri National Park and Govind National Park of Uttarkashi District, Uttarakhand, India. A total of 475 specimens of moth representing 436 morphospecies were collected using light trap method during the survey conducted between September 2008-May 2010. Preliminary findings show a decreasing diversity with increasing altitude. Subalpine areas were least diverse and subtropical areas had the highest diversity of moths. The greatest number of specimens were collected during the summer and post-monsoon period. The lunar phase had a significant effect on catch success with new moon days resulting in the largest catches and full moon days resulting in the least number of species as well as individuals. Of the thirty two species mentioned in Appendix 1, nine species are first time record from the state Uttarakhand. Four species are new record from Western Himalaya within Indian Territory, and also first time recorded from entire Himalayan landscape. As there was no previous comprehensive study on the moth diversity of Gangotri landscape area, all the 32 species described could be regarded as new record from these two protected areas.

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