Maha Ali Abdel Latif
Environment, Natural Resources & Desertification Research Institute, National Centre for Research, P.O. Box 6096, Khartoum, Sudan;
Corresponding author, E-mail: , phone (+249)912606919
Accepted: 1st December 2016, Published: 31st December 2016
Diversity of insects associated with Jatropha curcas was studied at El Rawakeeb Dry-land Research Station, which lies within the semiarid zone of Sudan. Insects were studied under a practical work of Jatropha cultivation, where their ecological and functional roles were evaluated. About 36 out of 108 quadrates were chosen as permanent sampling plots in a Randomized Complete Block Design. The Statistics (8) software was applied for data analysis. Insects were collected during the period November 2015 - February 2016. Butterfly netting, beating and hand picking methods were used to collect insects. Air and soil temperature, soil moisture and wind speed were measured throughout the sampling period. Simpson’s Diversity Index and Pearson Correlation Coefficient were used to measure the diversity index and evaluate climatic impact on insect diversity, respectively. A total of 1777 insects was collected and identified into 8 orders, 14 families and about 19 species. These include orders: Orthoptera (Schistocerca gregaria), Isoptera (Psammotermes hybostoma), Hemiptera (Calidea dregii), Neuroptera, Coleoptera (Trogoderma hispida, Prionotheca coronata and Pimelia grandis), Lepidoptera (Belenois aurota), Diptera (Musca domestica, Chrysomya marginalis and C. putoria), Hymenoptera (Apis mellifera, Formica rufa, Camponotus rufoglaucus, C. sericeus, Cataglyphis abyssinicus, C. auratus, Monomorium salomonis, Tapinolepis simulans and Pachycondyl sennaarensis). Insects’ relative abundance and dominance showed that individual number of Hymenoptera has the highest values of all collected insect orders (27.40% and 0.7481, respectively), whereas, individual number of Orthoptera revealed the lowest values (0.56% and 0.0154, respectively). High diversity index was obtained for the insects collected (0.90). A positive linear correlation was shown between air and soil temperature and individuals of Orthoptera, Isoptera, Neuroptera and Hymenoptera, whereas, negative linear correlation was found between wind speed, soil moisture content and these orders. These results could be ascribed to shelter and food provided by J. curcas to these insects. Diversity of insects could be attributed to the functional role of the insects as pollinators and plant pests.
Keywords: Diversity index, insect order, dominance, abundance.