Current Issue
           
 

Short Communication

 
 

OBSERVATIONS ON MOTHS OF BARATANG ISLAND, ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ARCHIPELAGO


 

Chandrakasan Sivaperuman* and Suresh Kumar Shah


Zoological Survey of India, Andaman and Nicobar Regional CentrePort Blair- 744 102, Andaman and Nicobar Islands

*E-mail: c_sivaperuman@yahoo.co.in

Received: 14 April 2011   Accepted: 22 July 2013    Published online: 31 October 2013

 
 

Abstract

   
 

The study on the moth fauna of Baratang Island was investigated during September 2009 to August 2010. Aim of this study was to describe the species diversity and distribution of moths of Baratang Island.  Light traps were operated for twelve days in four different locations covering evergreen forests and moist deciduous forest.  A total of 362 specimens belonging to 70 species were recorded. The highest number of species belongs to Erebidae, followed by Crambidae, Geometridae and Noctuidae. Three endemic species were recorded during the period of study, namely Amata (Syntomis) whimberleyi, Eressa affinis, and Cyana amabilis

Keywords: Abundance, Checklist, Conservation, Lepidoptera, Moth

Geotag: Baratang, Andaman, Nicobar [Lat. 12o05.049 N, Long. 92o47.145’ E |Lat. 12o12.730’ N, Long. 92o51.967’ E |Lat. 12o11.652’ N, Long. 92o50.313’ E |Lat. 12o13.546’ N, Long. 92o55.045’ E]

 

INTRODUCTION

The Order Lepidoptera including moths and butterflies is one of the largest and important insect groups.  It is estimated that approximately 12,000 species of moths belongs to 41 families are recorded from India (Chandra, 2007). Moths and butterflies have been widely used in ecological and conservation research worldwide (Kitching et al., 2000; Summerville and Crist, 2002; Kendrick, 2007; Barretto and Kendrick, 2007; Chandra, 2007). Literature reveals that, 529 species belonging to 30 families were reported from Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The major contribution on the Indian moth fauna, in general, belongs to Cotes and Swinhoe (1888), Hampson (1892, 1894, 1895 and 1896), Bell and Scott (1937), Rotchschild (1903) and Srivastava (2000). The studies on moth fauna of Andaman and Nicobar islands have been undertaken by Chandra (1993, 1994, 1996 and 1997), Chandra and Kumar (1992), Chandra and Rajan (1995 and 2004), Bhumnavar et al. (1991), Mandal and Bhattacharya (1980).

Islands play a prominent role in ecological and bio-geographical studies, since they are numerous in number and vary in size and degree of isolation. In addition, characteristics of island biodiversity are relatively easy to observe and quantify (MacArthur and Wilson 1967). Andaman and Nicobar Islands are known for rich biodiversity resources (Mathur and Padalia, 2010). The archipelago comprises 572 islands and extending over 800 km. The topography of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are hilly and undulating, the elevation in Andamans is from zero to 732 m and Saddle Peak is the highest in North Andaman Island. In the Nicobars the elevation rises from 0 to 568 m, Mt Thuillier being the highest peak on Great Nicobar Island. The habitats represented in the islands include bays, mangroves, moist deciduous forests and evergreen forests.  These islands are tropical, that is, warm, moist and equable. The proximity of the sea and the abundant rainfall prevent extremes of heat. The mountainous parts of the southern group of islands get about 300 cm of rain annually whereas the islands of north get lesser rainfall. Flora and fauna in Andaman bear close bio-geographical affinities with Myanmar and Thailand while Nicobar has affinities with Indo-Mayan regions (Ekman, 1953).

Baratang Islands is in the Andaman group and situated between Middle Andaman Forest Division in the North and South Andaman Forest Division in the South (Figure 01). The Baratang division comprises Baratang group of islands and Ritchie’s Archipelago separated by a channel (Deligent Strait). The island is made mostly of sedimentary rocks (Limestone, Quartzite and Marble), sandstone and clays of the mangrove swamp along the east coast of the island ranging in age from pre-tertiary to recent. The landmass of the island is covered with growth of dense tropical evergreen and semi evergreen rain forests consist of climbers, lianas, canes and bamboos. The evergreen forests are dominated with canopy formed by Dipterocarpus sp. semi evergreen and deciduous formations are dominated by Pterocarpus sp. and Terminalis sp. The sandy beaches are confined by mangrove and littoral forests dominated by Rhizophora sp. and Manilkara sp.  Islands play a prominent role in ecological and bio-geographical studies, since they are numerous in number and vary in size and degree of isolation. In addition, the characteristics of islands biotas are relatively easy to observe and quantify (MacArthur and Wilson, 1967).The aim of the present study is to understand the moth fauna on Baratang Island, Andaman.

 
 

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Moths were collected by light trap using white screen (85 W / 4U energy saving CFL Lamp) during September 2009 to August 2010 and twelve nights were operated covering all the three seasons.  The Portable Honda Generator was used for power supply. The collection date and location concerning each specimen were recorded. The species were identified in the field itself, the doubtful species were collected and brought to the laboratory for identification. Specimens were pinned and were mounted on the insect setting boards.  The details of the light trapping locations and other details are presented in Table 1.  The species were identified using Hampson, (1892, 1894, 1895 and 1896); Barlow (1982) and Holloway (1983, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2005) and species classification has been followed by van Nieukirken et al. (2011). All the collected specimens were deposited in Zoological Survey of India, Port Blair.

 

Table 1. Details of light trapping locations in Baratang Island

Sampling sites

 
 

RESULTS

During the study period, a total of 362 individuals and 70 species belongs to 12 families were recorded (Table2).   The family names were arranged according to classification of van Nieukirken et al. (2011).

 


Pie Chart_Baratang Moths

Figure 02. Percentages of species recorded in Baratang Island

The highest number of species belongs to Erebidae (22, 31.43%), followed by Crambidae (20, 28.57%) and Geometridae (9, 12.85 %) and

Noctuidae (5, 7.14%).  The number of species in each family and their percentage to the families were given in Figure 02.

Table 2. List of most species recorded in Baratang Island

Sl.
No.

Family

Sub-family

Species name

1

Thyrididae

Striglininae

Striglina scitaria (Walker)

Pyralidae

Pyralinae

Vitessa suradeva Moore

3

 

Phycitinae

Crocidophora ptyophora Hampson

4

Crambidae

Pyraustinae

Ostrinia furnacalis Guenee

5

 

Spilomelinae

Aetholix flavibasalis (Guenee)

6

 

 

Cnaphalocrocis medinalis Guenee

7

 

 

Diaphani aactorionalis Walker

8

 

 

Glyphodes caesalis Walker

9

 

 

Palpita nigropunctalis (Bremer)

10

 

 

Sisyrophora pfeifferae Lederar

11

 

 

Glyphodes picticostalis Hampson

12

 

 

Hymenia perspectalis Hubner

13

 

 

Spoladea recurvalis (Fabricius)

14

 

 

Lamprosema charesalis Walker

15

 

 

Psara licarsisalis Walker

16

 

 

Rhimphalea ochalis (Walker)

17

 

 

Rhimphalea trogusalis (Walker)

18

 

 

Samea castoralis (Walker)

19

 

 

Sylepta derogate (Fabricius)

20

 

 

Sylepta lunalis (Guenee)

21

 

 

Talanga sexpunctalis (Moore)

22

 

 

Tetridia caletoralis (Walker)

23

 

 

Tyspanodes linealis Moore

24

Drepanidae

Drepaninae

Tridrepana fulvata Snellen

25

Sphingidae

Smerithinae

Marumba dyras dyras Walker

26

 

Sphinginae

Acherontia styx styx Westwood

27

 

 

Psilogramma menephron menephron Cramer

28

 

Macroglossinae

Angonyx testacea Walker

29

Uraniidae

Uraniinae

Lyssa patroclus (Linnaeus)

30

 

Microniinae

Acropteris obliquaria Moore

31

 

 

Micronia aculeate (Guenee)

32

Geometridae

Ennominae

Cleora alienaria (Walker)

33

 

 

Cleora sp.Curtis

34

 

 

Hyposidra talaca (Walker)

35

 

 

Probithia exclusa (Walker)

36

 

 

Zeheba lucidata (Walker)

37

 

Geometrinae

Aporandria specularia (Guenee)

38

 

 

Dysphania militaris (Linnaeus)

39

 

Sterrhinae

Perixera orbinaria (Guenee)

40

 

 

Antitrygodes divisaria (Walker)

41

Notodontidae

Dudusinae

Gangarides rosea (Walker)

42

Erebidae

Lymantriinae

Olene mendosa Hubner

43

 

 

Euproctis bimaculata Walker             

44

 

 

Euproctis scintillans (Walker)

45

 

Arctiinae

Amata (Amata) cingulata Weber

46

 

 

Amata (Syntomis) wimberleyi Swinhoe

47

 

 

Eressa affinis Moore

48

 

 

Creatonotus gangis (Linnaeus)

49

 

 

Cyana amabilis (Moore)

50

 

 

Padenia duplicana (Walker)

51

 

 

Amerila astreaus (Drury)

52

 

 

Utethesia pulchelloides Hampson

53

 

Aganainae

Euplocia membliaria Cramer-Stoll

54

 

 

Asota caricae (Fabricius)

55

 

 

Peridroma orbicularis (Walker)

56

 

Erebinae

Amphigonia hepatizans Guenee

57

 

 

Erebus ephesperis (Hubner)

58

 

 

Ericeia eriophora (Guenee)

59

 

 

Lacera alope (Cramer)

60

 

 

Thyas coronate (Fabricius)

61

 

 

Eudocima fullonia (Clerck)

62

 

 

Parallelia arcuata Moore

63

 

 

Thermesia bolinoides (Guene)

64

Erebidae

 

Ischyja manlia (Cramer)

65

 

 

Sympis rufibasis (Guenee)

66

Noctuidae

Plusiinae

Chysodeixis eriosoma (Doubleday)

67

 

Amphipyrinae

Chasmina candida (Walker)

68

 

 

Spodoptera litura (Fabricius)

69

 

Agaristinae           

Sarbanissa albifascia Walker

70.

 

Hadeninae

Callyna jugaria Walker

 

 

 

 

DISCUSSION

Among the collected species of moths, 11 species were considered as pests of forest trees, namely Chysodeixis eriosoma, Aporandria specularia, Cleora alienaria, Hyposidra talaca, Trygodes divisaria, Utethesia pulchelloides, Dasychira mendosa, Sylepta derogata, Striglina scitaria, Acherontia styx styx and Hypsa ficus. Of the recorded species, three species, namely Amata (Syntomis) whimberleyi, Eressa affinis, and Cyana amabilis are endemic to Andaman and Nicobar islands. Most of the species obtained were collected during post monsoon season. This was because post monsoon season is the most suitable season for the mating and regeneration activities of Lepidopteran adults .Comparisons of moth species of Baratang Islands with other places in India and other countries have been provided in Table 3.  The number of species obtained through the light trapping shows that, this island is one of the diverse habitats in Andaman group of Islands.   The relatively high diversity of moths distributed in Baratang Island is probably due to the availability of secondary forests. This research analyzed the distribution and diversity of moths and this is the preliminary assessment of the moth fauna in Baratang Island. The samples were collected from only few locations more habitats remain unexplored, especially in the tribal reserve area, consequently it is expected that more species may be found in Baratang Island. Our results provide preliminary information on the diversity and distribution of moth fauna of Baratang Island, further studies should investigate the response of moths to different levels of disturbances, such as logging and plantations.

 

Table 3. Comparison of moths with nearby territories

Moths of nearby territoires

 
 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The authors are grateful to M.V.K.Bhagavanulu, Central Silk Board of India for his support and guidance in improving the quality of the draft, based on the inputs given by the reviewers. The authors would also like to thank the reviewers for their insightful comments. 

 
 

REFERENCES

 

Barlow H.S. (1982) An Introduction to the Moths of South East Asia. Malaysian Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur.

Barretto, R.O. & Kendrick, R.C. (2007) Lepidoptera in context: a Hong Kong case study in habitat conservation. In Kendrick, R.C. (ed.) Proceedings of the First South East Asian Lepidoptera Conservation Symposium, Hong Kong 2006. pp. 93-99. Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden, Hong Kong.

Bell T.R.D. and Scott F.B. (1937) The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma: Moths, vol. 5: 537 pp., Taylor and Francis Ltd., London.

Bhumannavar B.S., Mohanraj P., RangnathH.R., Jacob T.K. and Bandyopadhyay  K. (1991) Insects of agricultural importance in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. CARI Research Bulletin6: 1- 49.

Chandra K. (1993) New records of moths of Bay Islands. Journal of Andaman Science Association9 (1&2): 44-49.

Chandra K. (1994). Further new records of moths from Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Journal of Andaman Science Association10 (1&2): 17-24.

Chandra K. (1996) Moths of Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve, India. Malayan Nature Journal 50: 109-116.

Chandra K. (1997) New additions to the moth fauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Journal of Andaman Science Association13 (1&2): 44-47.

Chandra K. and Kumar S. (1992) Moths (Heterocera: Lepidoptera) of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Journal of Andaman Science Association 8 (2): 138-145.
Chandra K. and Rajan P.T. (1995) Moths of Mount Harriet National Park, Andaman. Journal of Andaman Science Association 11(1 &2): 71-75.

Chandra K. and Rajan P.T. (2004) Faunal diversity of Mount Harriet National Park (South Andaman). Conservation Area Series, 17: 1-142. Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata

Chandra, K. (2007) Moth diversity of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, India, and its conservation measures. In: Kendrick, R.C. (ed.) Proceedings of the First South East Asian Lepidoptera Conservation Symposium, Hong Kong 2006. pp. 49-61. Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden, Hong Kong.

Cotes, E.C. and C. Swinhoe, (1887-89) A Catalogue of the moths of India, Part I-VI. Indian Museum. 812 p.

Ekman, S., 1953. Zoogeography of the Sea. XIV + 417pp.

HampsonG.F. (1892) The Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma: Moths, Vol. 1: 527 pp., Taylor and Francis Ltd., London.

Hampson, G. (1894) The Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma: Moths, Vol. 2:  Moths 2. Arctiidae, Agrostidae, Noctuidae 609 pp. Taylor and Francis Ltd., London.

Hampson, G. (1895) The Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma:  Moths, Vol. 3: Moths 3. Noctuidae (cont.) to Geometridae 546 p. Taylor and Francis Ltd., London.

Hampson, G. (1896) The Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma: Moths, Vol. 1: Moths 4. Pyralidae 594 pp. Taylor and Francis Ltd., London.

Holloway, J.D. (1983) The Moths of Borneo, Family Notodontidae. Malayan Nature Journal, 37:1-107.

Holloway J.D. (1985)The moths of Borneo: family Noctuidae, subfamilies Euteliinae, Stictopterinae, Plusiinae, Pantherinae. Malayan Nature Journal 38: 157-317.

Holloway, J.D. (1987)Macrolepidoptera diversity in the Indo-Australian tropics: geographic, biotopic and taxonomic variations. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 30: 325-341.

Holloway, J.D.(1988) The Moths of Borneo: Family Arctiidae, Subfamilies Syntominae, Euchromiinae, Arctiinae; Noctuidae misplaced in Arctiidae (Camptoloma, Aganainae). 101pp. Kuala Lumpur, Southdene.

Holloway J.D. (1989) The moths of Borneo: family Noctuidae, subfamilies Noctuinae, Heliothinae, Hadeninae, Acronictinae, Amphipyrinae, Agaristinae. Malayan Nature Journal 42: 57-228.

Holloway J.D. (1993) The moths of Borneo: family Geometridae, subfamily Ennominae. Malayan Nature Journal 43: 1-309.

Holloway, J.D. (1994) The Moths of Borneo: part 11; family Geometridae: subfamily Ennominae. Malayan Nature Journal 47: 1-309.

Holloway, J.D. (1996) The Moths of Borneo: part 9; family Geometridae: subfamilies Oenochrominae, Desmobathrinae, Geometrinae. Malayan Nature Journal49: 147-326.

Holloway, J.D. (1997) The Moths of Borneo: part 10; family Geometridae: subfamilies Sterrhinae, Larentiinae, Addenda to other subfamilies. Malayan Nature Journal51: 1-242.

Holloway, J.D. (2005) The Moths of Borneo: Family Noctuidae, subfamily Catocalinae. Malayan Nature Journal 58: 1-529.

Kendrick, R.C. 2007 The conservation assessment of moths in Hong Kong. In Kendrick, R.C. (ed.) Proceedings of the First South East Asian Lepidoptera Conservation Symposium, Hong Kong 2006. pp. 71-82. Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden, Hong Kong.

Kitching,R.L., Orr, A.G., Thaib, L., Mitchell, H., Hopkins, M.S., Graham,A.W. (2000) Moth assemblages as indicators of environment quality of Australian rain forest. Journal of Applied Ecology 37: 284-297.
MacArthur R.H. and Wilson E.O. (1967). The Theory of Island Biogeography. Princeton University Press, Princeton. 224pp.

MandalD.K. and Bhattacharya D.P. (1980) On the Pyraustinae (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) from the Andaman, Nicobar and Great Nicobar Islands, Indian Ocean. Records of Zoological Survey of India77: 293-342

Mathur, V.B. and H. Padalia(2010) Protected area network in Andaman and Nicobar islands: a gap analysis for biodiversity representation and conservation status. In: Recent Trends in Biodiversity of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, (Eds.) Ramakrishna, Raghunathan, C. and Sivaperuman, C., Zool. Surv. India, Kolkata. Pp.519-532.

Park, Marana, Jeong-Seop An1, Jin Lee, Jin-Taek Lim2 and Sei-Woong Choi (2009). Diversity of Moths (Insecta: Lepidoptera) on Bogildo Island, Wando-gun, Jeonnam, Korea. J. Ecol. Field Biol. 32 (2): 129~135, 2009.

Rotchschild W., Hartert R. and Jordan K. (1903). NovitatesZoologicae. Vol. 10: 583p.

Srivastava A. (2002)Taxonomy of moths of India. IBD publishers. 334pp.

Summerville K.S. and Crist, T.O. (2002) Effects of timber harvest on forest Lepidoptera: Community, guild and species responses. Ecological Applications 12: 820-835.

Van Nieukerken Erik J. et al.  (2011) Order Lepidoptera Linnaeus, 1758. In: Zhang, Z.-Q. (Ed.) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness. Zootaxa 3148.

 


Site this article as:

Sivaperuman C. and S.K. Shah., (2013) Observations on Moths of Baratang Island, Andaman & Nicobar Archipelago. Lepcy - The Journal of Tropical Asian Entomology 02 (1) : 28–36