Diversity and community structure of dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae) associated with semi-urban fragmented agricultural land in the Malabar coast in southern India

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K.S. Venugopal
S.K. Thomas
A.T. Flemming

Abstract

An evaluation of the diversity and community structure of dung beetles associated with semiurban agricultural land in the Malabar coast of southern India revealed that urbanization has led to decreased diversity compared to regional forests, and has affected the community status of dung beetles. However, contrary to expectations, species richness was observed to be equivalent to rural agricultural fields in the region. Low abundance of prominent agricultural habitat species indicates that the study area has changed as a result of habitat modification/urbanization, and the prevailing conditions are not ideal for the establishment of the most common species in agriculture belts. Prominence of two less common species, Tiniocellus spinipes and Caccobius vulcanus, indicates these generalist urban adaptable (synanthropic) species have become increasingly widespread and locally abundant. The low abundance of tunnelers and rollers is attributed to fragmentation of the urban agricultural belt, low mammalian diversity and dung availability, and the hard nature of the laterite soil in the Malabar coast region.

Article Details

How to Cite
[1]
Venugopal, K., Thomas, S. and Flemming, A. 2012. Diversity and community structure of dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae) associated with semi-urban fragmented agricultural land in the Malabar coast in southern India. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 4, 7 (Jul. 2012), 2685–2692. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o3074.2685-92.
Section
Communications
Author Biographies

K.S. Venugopal

Mrs. K. Simi Venugopal is pursuing her PhD programme on the ecology and systematics of dung beetles at Post Graduate and Research Department of Zoology, Loyola College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

S.K. Thomas

Dr. Sabu K. Thomas is an associate professor attached to Post Graduate and Research Department of Zoology, St. Joseph’s College, Devagiri, Kozhikode, Kerala and systematics and ecology of ground beetles in the moist south Western Ghats is his thrust area.

A.T. Flemming

Dr. Albin T. Fleming, associate professor and head of the Post Graduate and Research Department of Zoology, Loyola College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu and is actively engaged with the systematic of various insect groups in peninsular India.