Butterfly Species Abundance in Agricultural fields of Vadodara, Gujarat with Special Emphasis on the Conservation of Complementary Plantations, S Gandhi, D Kumar

Tags: butterfly species, butterflies, Vadodara, Chhani, agricultural fields, Agricultural crops, Danaus chrysippus, Papilionidae, green leafy vegetables, plantations, Species Abundance, host plants for butterflies, Interdependent relationship, International Journal of Science and Research, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Family Genus Species, complementary plantations, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Observations, species of butterflies, Anand Agricultural University, Annals of the Entomological Society of America, Amaranthaceae Apiaceae Brassicaceae Brassicaceae Brassicaceae Caricaceae Euphorbiaceae Fabaceae Malvaceae Malvaceae Musaceae Poaceae Solanaceae, Common Crow, Common Name, Silverline Common Pierrot Plains Cupid Zebra, J. Roland, University Press, Bombay Natural History Society, D. Corzilius, pp, Peninsular India, H. Brubaker, India, D. Pimental
Content: International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR) ISSN (Online): 2319-7064 Index Copernicus Value (2013): 6.14 | Impact Factor (2014): 5.611 Butterfly Species Abundance in Agricultural fields of Vadodara, Gujarat with Special Emphasis on the Conservation of Complementary Plantations Suchi Gandhi1, Dolly Kumar2 1Division of Entomology, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara-390002. 2Division of Entomology, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of BarodaVadodara-390002.
Abstract: Interdependent relationship of butterflies and plants is inevitable for their own successful co-existence. Agricultural fields of Vadodara, adjoining trees and shrubs serve as host complementary plants for butterflies. The objective of this study was to observe the abundance of butterfly species in the agricultural fields along with important implications for complementary plantations like shrub Lantana camara and Calotropis procera which serve as pollinating grounds and host plants for butterflies. Moreover, family wise distribution of butterflies was also documented to support the species abundance. The study was carried out for a period of two years i.e. June 2012 to June 2014. Results suggest that agricultural fields sustain butterfly species i.e. Charaxes solon which was found feeding on rotten, Musa paradisiaca in banana fields and outlined fenced complementary plantation, harbours Graphium agamemnon on Alstonia scholaris, Ficus benghalensis, Mangifera indica. The bed of Alternenthera pungens serves as basking cot for butterflies like Danaus chrysippus, Junonia lemonias. This study is a special attempt to accelerate the conservation campaign in cultivating more of such complementary plants for holding up life of butterflies.
Keywords: Agricultural fields, Butterflies, Complementary plantations, Chhani, Gujarat
1. Introduction
2. Materials and Methods
Among all diverse insects, butterflies are one of the most common and colourful insects known from kids to adults, naturalists and budding researchers. Butterflies serve as functional pollinators and pollination is important process in all most all productive terrestrial ecosystems [9]. These flying jewels also bag importance in performing ecological roles in various habitats. Butterflies and plants share a unique inter-relationship with each other and hence possess specific host specificity. Coevolutionary studies were carried out between butterflies and plants and thus highlight the inevitable interrelationship between them [11]. Similarly, butterflies are peculiar for its habitat too. But, habitat fragmentation has led to the patchy distribution of butterflies. Among such fragmented habitats, agricultural fields and its surrounding complementary vegetation avail plant resources to butterflies. Agrolandscape butterflies reflect the transformations which take place in nature and thus are characterised by few species which are successfully adapted [10]. Thus, there is a need to set up an objective related to agricultural landscape to maintain and enhance biodiversity [12]. Essential ecosystem services like recycling of nutrients (N, P, K) highly required by crops are carried out by butterflies [1] which were previously absorbed and up taken from plants. Leaves of wild plants located in the agricultural systems are fed by larval stages of these butterflies and hence the faeces released by them contain important nutrients [8]. Thus, The present study is an attempt to study butterfly abundance in agricultural fields and to encourage the cultivation of inter-related complementary plantations.
2.1 Study Area The present study on butterflies and complementary plantations were carried out in the agricultural fields of Chhani. Chhani is situated 15 kms to the north in Vadodara city located in Gujarat state of India. The average temperature at the study site was 36 °C maximum and 19° C minimum with 55-65 % relative humidity. The study sites were visited once a month for a period of two years. The cultivated crops in the agricultural fields were observed during the study period. The outline fencing plantations were also noted during the same. 2.2. Observations and Collection of Butterflies Agricultural fields were visited once a month for observations on butterfly abundance. Observations were made in the morning hours between 9:00am -12:00 noon and 3:00-6:00 pm. Butterflies were observed along the pedal paths which separate two agricultural fields and were observed on both the sides of the paths. Visual observations and aerial net method were used to monitor butterflies. Depending on the number of sightings, abundance of butterfly species were categorised into Very Common (>25 sightings during the entire study period), Common (10-25 sightings) and Rare (1-5 sightings). Butterflies were identified on the field site itself and if not identified were collected using aerial sweep net. The butterflies were identified using standard FIELD GUIDES and references [2], [5-7].
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International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR) ISSN (Online): 2319-7064 Index Copernicus Value (2013): 6.14 | Impact Factor (2014): 5.611
3. Results and Discussion
3.3 Complementary Plantations and Butterflies at Chhani
3.1 Butterfly species abundance A total of 33 different species of butterflies belonging to 23 genera and 4 families were recorded in agricultural fields of Vadodara (Table 1). Amongst all, butterfly species belonging to family Nymphalidae were maximum i.e. 12 species of butterflies (36.36%), followed by Pieridae i.e. 11 species (33.33%). 5 species of butterflies each belonging to Papilionidae (15.15%) and Lycaenidae (15.15%) were recorded in Table 2 & represented in Figure-1. During the study, 13 species of butterflies were found to be common, 12 species to be very common and 8 species of butterflies to be rare as depicted graphically in Figure 2. Amongst Nymphalids, Plain tiger (Danaus chrysippus), Common Indian Crow (Euploea core) and the castors (Ariadne ariadne and Ariadne merione) were found to be very common. Catopsilia pomona and Catopsilia pyranthe were found to be very common amongst the pierids. Low flying Grass yellows were prominently observed during active early mornings. In Papilionidae family, Graphium agamemnon and G. doson were the frequent visitors searching for nectar.
A total of 15 different species of plants were observed fencing the outline of agricultural fields of Vadodara as systematically listed in figure 4. Azadirachta indica, Ficus benghalensis and Ficus religiosa were found all year around surrounding the agricultural fields. Seasonal bloom of Cassia fistula gives the visually pleasant occurrence of emigrants. Aegle marmalos commonly known as Bael serves as the host plant for Lime butterfly (Papilio demoleus). Lantana camara one of the most invasive plant species serves as important source of nectar for Catopsilia pomona, Catopsilia pyranthe, Cepora nerissa and Colotis amata. Moreover, presence of Calotropis procera as one of the complementary plantation also serves as host plant for Danaus chrysippus. Nymphalid butterfly Black Raja Charaxes solon exhibited the tendency to over ripen fruits like Musa paradisiaca. It is said that fruit feeding butterflies use their odour cues to locate the fruits and fermented products [4]. Amongst the wild vegetation, Tridax procumbens and Alternenthera pungens serves as basking sites for butterflies like Junonia lemonias and Danaus chrysippus.
Figure 1: Family-wise butterfly distribution in agricultural fields of Vadodara 3.2 Agricultural crops at Chhani The major agricultural crops cultivated in Chhani are listed in Table-3. Along with the agricultural crops, the complementary plantations like trees and shrubs were also observed which are listed in Table-4. Agricultural fields of Chhani serve as good source for fresh green leafy vegetables and cotton crops. A total of 13 different species of vegetables and agricultural crops were cultivated in agricultural fields. Members of Brassicaceae like Cabbage, Cauliflower and Radish are consumed more often by people and thus cultivated as edible crop in Chhani region of Vadodara, Gujarat. Leafy vegetables like Spinach, Fenugreek and Coriander belonging to families like Amaranthaceae, Fabaceae and Apiaceae dominate the winters. Among fruits, Papaya (Carica papaya) and Banana (Musa paradisiaca) belonging to Caricaceae and Musaceae were cultivated in the fields (Table 3). Fruits like Mango, Guava, Chikoo and Custard Apple were also cultivated as complementary plantations surrounding the agricultural fields.
Figure 2: Percentage occurrence of butterfly species in agricultural fields of Vadodara
The presence of such complementary plantations functions as suitable ground for butterfly abundance. Moreover, these plantations serve as substitution for insect pests and thus have the tendency to divert them from the main agricultural crop to these outline vegetation. This in turn, prevents the loss of crop production. Looking to the other side, such corresponding plantations especially huge trees like Azadirachta indica and Mangifera indica provide shade to the local farmers during summers. Apart from complementary plantations, agricultural sites prove to be good abode for wild vegetation that keeps up the butterfly and other insect abundance.
Table 1: Genus & Species composition of butterflies in
agricultural fields of Vadodara
Family
Genus
Species
Papillionidae
3
5
Pieridae
7
11
Nymphalidae
8
12
Lycaenidae
5
5
Total
23
33
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International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR) ISSN (Online): 2319-7064 Index Copernicus Value (2013): 6.14 | Impact Factor (2014): 5.611
Table 2: List of documented butterfly species in agricultural fields of Vadodara
Family
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Common name
Pachliopta aristolochiae Fabricius
Common Rose
Graphium doson C& R Felder
Common Jay
Papillionidae
Graphium agamemnon Linnaeus
Tailed Jay
Papilio demoleus Linnaeus
Lime butterfly
Papilio polytes Linnaeus
Common Mormon
Catopsilia pomona Fabricius
Common Emigrant
Catopsilia pyranthe Linnaeus
Mottled Emigrant
Eurema hecabe Linnaeus
Common Grass Yellow
Eurema brigitta Stoll
Small Grass Yellow
Delias eucharis Drury
Common Jezebel
Pieridae
Cepora nerissa Fabricius Belenois aurota Fabricius Ixias marianne Cramer
Common Gull Pioneer or Caper White White orange tip
Ixias pyrene Linnaeus
Yellow Orange tip
Nymphalidae Lycaenidae
Colotis danae Fabricius Colotis amata Fabricius Acraea violae Fabricius Danaus chrysippus Linnaeus Euploea core Cramer Ariadne ariadne Moore Ariadne merione Cramer Hypolimnas bolina Drury Hypolimnas misippus Linnaeus Junonia almana Linnaeus Junonia lemonias Linnaeus Junonia orithya Hubner Melanitis leda Linnaeus Charaxes solon Fabricius Spindasis vulcanus Fabricius Castalius rosimon Fabricius Chilades pandava Horsfield Leptotes plinius Fabricius Curetis thetis Drury
Crimson tip Small salmon arab Tawny coster Plain Tiger Common Crow Angled Castor Common Castor Great Eggfly Danaid Eggfly Peacock Pansy Lemon Pansy Blue Pansy Common Evening Brown Black rajah Common Silverline Common Pierrot Plains Cupid Zebra blue Indian Sunbeam
Occurrence Rare Common Very common Common Very common Very common Very common Very common Very common Common Very common Very common Common Common Common Common Common Very common Very common Very Common Very Common Rare Rare Rare Common Rare Common Common Rare Rare Common Common Rare
Table 3: List of Agricultural and Vegetable crops in Agricultural fields of Vadodara
Sr. No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Family Amaranthaceae Apiaceae Brassicaceae Brassicaceae Brassicaceae Caricaceae Euphorbiaceae Fabaceae Malvaceae Malvaceae Musaceae Poaceae Solanaceae
Botanical Name Spinacia oleracea L. Coriandrum sativum L. Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata L. Brassica oleracea var. botrytis L. Raphanus sativus L. Carica papaya L. Ricinus communis L. Trigonella foenum-graecum L. Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench Gossypium hirsutum L. Musa paradisiaca L. Triticum aestivum L. Solanum tuberosum L.
Common Name Spinach Coriander Cabbage Cauliflower Radish Papaya Castor Fenugreek Okra Cotton Banana Wheat Potato
Volume 4 Issue 10, October 2015
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International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR) ISSN (Online): 2319-7064 Index Copernicus Value (2013): 6.14 | Impact Factor (2014): 5.611 Table 4: List of complementary plantations around agricultural fields of Vadodara
Sr. No.
Family
1
Anacardiaceae
2
Annonaceae
3
Apocynaceae
4
Asclepidiaceae
5
Fabaceae
6
Fabaceae
7
Fabaceae
8
Meliaceae
9
Moraceae
10
Moraceae
11
Myrtaceae
12
Rutaceae
13
Rutaceae
14
Sapotaceae
15
Verbenaceae
Botanical name Mangifera indica L. Annona squamosa L. Alstonia scholaris L. R. Br. Calotropis procera Albizia saman L.Muell Tamarindus indicus L. Cassia fistula L. Azadirachta indica A. Juss. Ficus benghalensis L. Ficus religiosa L. Psidium guajava L. Aegle marmalos (L.) Correa Murraya koenigii (L.) Sprengel Manilkara zapota (L.) P. Royan Lantana camara L.
Common name Mango Custard Apple Indian Devil tree Milkweed Plant Rain tree Indian Date Golden shower Indian Lilac Indian Banyan Sacred Fig Common Guava Stone apple Curry tree Chikoo Wild sage
4. Conclusion
The drift of butterfly abundance from the mainland agricultural fields to the outlined plantation fencing is due to the irregular pesticide usage by the local farmers. Farmers use pesticide to an extent to get immediate rid from insect pests. But in such practices, the beneficial insects like butterflies and bees are targeted. Thus, along with habitat fragmentation, pesticide utilization has also become one of the factors in declining of butterfly population [13].
Along with that, nectar resource and host plant requirements are fulfilled by such complementary plantations. Thus, Conservation strategies should be put forward to prevent the chopping of such trees that serve as host plants for butterflies. Thus, there is a need to encourage ecologically sound and sustainable management practices in agriculture [3]. Henceforth this study is a special attempt to accelerate the conservation campaign in cultivating more of such complementary plants for holding up life of butterflies.
5. Acknowledgement
One of the authors, Ms. Suchi Gandhi, is thankful to the UGC, New Delhi for their financial assistance under the RFSMS scheme.
References
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S Gandhi, D Kumar

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Title: Butterfly Species Abundance in Agricultural fields of Vadodara, Gujarat with Special Emphasis on the Conservation of Complementary Plantations
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