DIVERSITY OF INSECTS IN NIGER IN NIGER STATE POLYTECHNIC ZUNGERU

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ABSTRACT

The current survey was conducted to give a preliminary inventory on the composition and abundance of insects in Niger State Polytechnic Zungeru. Sampling were done weekly from dawn to dusk using sweep net and hand picking techniques from the months of April to August 2021. Insect species recovered were identified in the insect Museum, Minna located at Federal Secretariat Complex, Niger State. The composition, relative abundance, frequency of occurrence and, some diversity indices were computed. Insect species with relative abundance ≥ 1 % and frequency of occurrence ≥ 25 % were classified as dominant. A total of 243 individuals from 8 orders, 23 families and, 47 species (9 of which were dominant) were recovered. Members belonging to order orthoptera were the most abundant followed by lepidoptera and coleoptera (relative abundance; 57.19 %, 16.05 % and 14.81 %, respectively).Cantatopsasthmaticus and Cantatopsannulatus were the most predominant insect species. Even though, order orthoptera was the most diverse (Shannon’s index = 2.438); coleopteran had the highest richness index (Margalef’s index = 3.349). The diversity (Shannon’s index = 3.349), richness index (Margalef’s index = 8.374) and evenness index (Buzas and Gibson’s = 0.662) of the study area were all high. Further work need to be done in the study area by expanding the scope and duration of the study area and also, by employing different sampling techniques.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

In most habitats and ecosystems, the major components of animal diversity are the insects (Ananthaselvi et al., 2009). They are adjudged the most diverse and largest group of organisms and, constitutes more than half of the world known animal species (Aslam, 2009). Amidst others, their success is attributable to the diverse flowering plants that provide shelter and food for the insects. Some insect species can tolerate varying environmental conditions while others are very sensitive to vagaries of weather (Sheikh et al., 2017). Insects perform very important roles in the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems as such are referred to as important ‘natural capitals’ (Callados and Duane, 1999). The ecosystem goods and services they provide includes; pollination, natural/biological pest control, decomposition, nutrient release, ecosystem engineering, maintenance of wildlife species and food for man. They are also a major prey for a lot of vertebrates and invertebrates, including other insects (Losey and Vaghan, 2006, Chelse et al., 2013). The growing awareness on the need to understand and conserve bio-diversity has triggered the interest in evaluating insect richness and diversity in various habitats and ecosystems. However, most studies on composition and abundance of insects are largely on one or two insect orders and/or families (Medler, 1980, Okrikata and Yusuf, 2016). Generally, studies on insect community composition are relatively few.