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South Asian Journal of Life Sciences

Research Article
S. Asian J. Life Sci. 7(2): 29-39
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Sruthi Rajeevan1, Smija Moorkoth Kunnath1*, Thresiamma Varghese2, Prasadan Puthanpurayil Kandambeth1

1Department Of Zoology, Kannur University, Manathavady Campus, Wayanad 670 645, Kerala, India; 2Centre For Ecological Studies, Indian Institute Of Science, Bangalore 560 012, Karanataka, India.

Abstract |Spiders are key components of all ecosystems in which they live and considered to be useful indicators of the overall species richness and health of terrestrial communities. However, spiders of the Western Ghats are poorly explored group and detailed information about their systematics, diversity and ecology is scarce. The present study is an attempt to investigate the spider faunal diversity in the selected habitats in the Western Ghats of North Wayanad region, Kerala, India. A total of 150 species belonging to 73 genera under 20 families were recorded from the selected habitats. Kartikulam forest reserve (Site D) showed the highest species richness and lowest species richness was recorded from Mananthavady region (Site A). Guild structure analysis of the collected spiders revealed seven functional groups viz. stalkers, orb-web builders, ambushers, space-web builder, ground runners, foliage runners and sheet-web builders. To conclude, the highest species richness is correlated with flora and fauna in these sites. The knowledge generated from the present study gives valuable and updated information on diversity of species of Western Ghats and the data can be used for future research on spider fauna.

Keywords: Forest Habitat, Plantations, Riparian Ecosystem, Species Richness, Spider, Western Ghats