Diversity of ants in Aarey Milk Colony, Mumbai, India

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Akshay Gawade
Amol P. Patwardhan


Aarey Milk Colony (AMC) is 16km2 of forested area, acts as a buffer to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai. It has gardens, lakes, recreation spots, and a nursery. It also harbors 32 cattle farms, animal husbandry centers. Apart from urbanization and forest degradation, this forest harbors great biodiversity which includes the leopard as a top predator and also lesser-known species of amphibians, reptiles, and arthropods. Considering ants as important bio indicators and the vulnerability of AMC to development plans, a study on the diversity of ants was conducted from January 2016 to May 2016. Four methods were used for data collection of ants—pitfall trap, line-transect, quadrate, and all-out search. A total of 35 species under 24 genera under six subfamilies– Myrmicinae, Formicinae, Ponerinae, Dolichoderinae, Pseudomyrmecinae, and Cerapachyinae were recorded during this study. The Simpson’s diversity index (0.88) for the pit fall trap indicates that the diversity of ants in the AMC is fairly high. This increases the importance of this forest land which is presently facing a mass destruction of trees. 

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