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Type: Article
Published: 2020-01-21
Page range: 6-15
Abstract views: 321
PDF downloaded: 2

Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) diversity in savanna ecosystem: a comparison of sampling methods and seasons

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Eswatini
Sampling biodiversity assessment species list insects Formicidae ants savanna


One of the most important means of obtaining biodiversity information in natural ecosystems is surveying and collection of biological specimen using appropriate sampling methods. This study was carried out to determine the most appropriate sampling method for ants in a savanna ecosystem during two distinct seasons. Pitfall trapping, direct search and litter extrac­tion produced significantly different species lists, with each method having unique species and seasons also showed the same trend. A total of 53 species were collected from both conservation areas during the study, with Pheidole sp.4, Crematogaster amita and Monomorium albopilosum being the three most dominant species. Generalised Myrmicinae and opportunists were the functional groups with the highest species richness in all methods and seasons, with pitfall trapping having the highest richness. While pitfall trapping and direct search were deemed to be the most efficient methods in this savanna, results also suggest that varied sampling methods are necessary to ensure sampling of all microhabitats within a specific locality. Ad­ditionally, utilisation and testing of sampling methods is essential for each geographic region.

Key words: Sampling, biodiversity assessment, species list, insects, Formicidae, ants, savanna


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