Diversity and trophic niche overlap of membracids (Hemiptera, Membracidae) in a semi-arid area

Antonio J. Creão-Duarte Ulisses U. Anjos Wellington E. Santos About the authors

We examined 1,069 individuals of 13 species of membracids collected on their host plants, between August 2004 and September 2005, in a semi-arid region, State of Paraíba, Northeastern Brazil. Enchenopa concolor (Fairmaire, 1846) (31.6%) and E. euniceae Creão-Duarte & Rothéa, 2006 (24.8%) were the most abundant species. Five families of host plants harbored these insects. Amongst these families, Fabaceae showed the highest richness (12) and abundance (70.3%) of membracids. Darnis olivacea Fabricius, 1803, Hygris beckeri Sakakibara, 1998 and Sundarion flavum (Fairmaire, 1846) showed the highest values of niche breadth. Amongst the most abundant species, E. minuta Creão-Duarte & Rothéa, 2006 and Micrutalis binaria (Faimaire, 1846) showed the highest trophic niche overlap, but the temporal overlap between them was relatively low. The results revealed possible strategies developed by the species for coexistence and utilization of resources in Caatinga.

Caatinga; host plants; niche overlap

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