Dung beetles play significant role in the ecosystems by nutrient recycling and waste removal. The study was conducted to explore the distributional patterns of dung beetle assemblages on local scales. The sampling was accomplished by surveying grassy fields, croplands, old dung piles and fresh dung pats from selected localesofSialkot during 2016. Specimens were collected by hand picking and cattle dung baited pitfall traps. Sixteen species representing three guilds i.e. Paracoprid (10 species), Endocoprid (4 species) and Telecoprid (02 species) were recorded. Onitis excavatus (27.68 %)and Onitis crassus (9.59 %)showed maximum relative abundance whereas Helocopris bucephalus (0.15 %) and Onthophagus bonasus (0.15 %)were the least abundant species. A. contaminatus, A. fossor and C. indicus were recorded only in August and September whereas C. pithecius and C. platypus were noted in September only. O. gazella were recorded inJuly, August and September, however, O. castaneous and O. bonasus were not recorded in the month of May, June and August. Maximum abundance was recorded in Mundeke whereas the least abundant site was Malkhanwala. O. excavatus and O. crassus were dominated in the dung pats whereas G. bicallosus was most abundant in cropland areas. Shannon-Wiener diversity index values calculated from different sites indicated variations in species richness (H= 1.72-2.14) and evenness (e^= 0.65-0.85). Similar trend in the values of other diversity indices were observed that indicated better richness and evenness of species. The diversity reported from the Sialkot emphasizes on detailed surveys with respect to feeding guilds, availability of vegetation types and dung preferences need to be explored.
Novelty Statement | The research reported the spatio-temporal diversity of dung beetle assemblages from Sialkot and highlighted the significance of dung beetles in agricultural landscapes as indicator of habitat change.
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