, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 458-465
Date: 19 Jun 2013

Richness and Abundance of Ichneumonidae in a Fragmented Tropical Rain Forest

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Because of the magnitude of land use currently occurring in tropical regions, the local loss of animal species due to habitat fragmentation has been widely studied, particularly in the case of vertebrates. Many invertebrate groups and the ichneumonid wasps in particular, however, have been poorly studied in this context, despite the fact that they are one of the most species-rich groups and play an important role as regulators of other insect populations. Here, we recorded the taxonomic composition of ichneumonid parasitoids and assessed their species richness, abundance, similarity, and dominance in the Los Tuxtlas tropical rain forest, Mexico. We compared two forest types: a continuous forest (640 ha) and a forest fragment (19 ha). We sampled ichneumonids using four malaise traps in both forest types during the dry (September–October) and rainy (March–April) seasons. A total of 104 individuals of Ichneumonidae belonging to 11 subfamilies, 18 genera, and 42 species were collected in the continuous forest and 11 subfamilies, 15 genera, and 24 species were collected in the forest fragment. Species richness, abundance, and diversity of ichneumonids were greater in the continuous forest than in the forest fragment. We did not detect differences between seasons. Species rank/abundance curves showed that the ichneumonid community between the forest types was different. Species similarity between forest types was low. The most dominant species in continuous forest was Neotheronia sp., whereas in the forest fragment, it was Orthocentrus sp. Changes in the ichneumonid wasp community may compromise important tropical ecosystem processes.