Seasonal diversity and temporal variation in the assemblage of ants on trees raised under urban habitat
Subhashree Dash, JR Mallick and HP Patnaik
The seasonal assemblage of ants and their species composition on Teak (Tectona grandis), Sisoo (Dalbergia sissoo), Neem (Azadirachta indica), Bahada (Terminalia bellirica), and Sandal wood (Santalum album) were studied from April’14 to February’15, in the campus of Forestry college, O.U.A.T., Bhubaneswar. In proportion to the total ants collected through bait and pitfall traps, Myrmicinae, Formicinae, Dolichoderinae, Ponerinae, and Pseudomyrmicinae constituted about 55.7%, 20.12%, 17.16%, 6.68% and 0.35%, respectively across seasons and trees studied. Irrespective of seasons, ant activity varied with the type of the tree. Myrmicine ants predominated on Sandalwood, Teak and Neem and formicine ants on bahada, while the dolichoderine ants exceptionally predominated on Sissoo. Further, ants represented by Myrmicinae were found active in all seasons excepting monsoon months, which otherwise favoured the formicinae and dolichoderinae ants. The species richness was higher in the case of Myrmicinae (10species), Formicinae (4 species) and Ponerinae (4 species). More than 12 ant species have been documented on neem, sissoo, teak and sandal wood.Among the myrmicinae ants Crematogaster sp., C. soror, C. subnuda and Monomorium sp. were populous in most seasons. Among the formicinae ants Camponotus compressus remained more populous from summer to post-rainy season on all trees. The odorus ants, Tapinomamelanocephalum (Dolichoderinae) were more populous on sissoo during July-August. The Simspon’s Index of diversity (SID) also showed diversity in species composition not only with respect to trees, but also with the seasons.