EVALUATION OF LEAF LITTER BAITS FOR SAMPLING INSECTS IN BULALON CAVE, BURDEOS, POLILLO ISLAND, QUEZON PROVINCE, PHILIPPINES

John Mark A. Encinares, Ireneo L. Lit, Jr.

Abstract


Dry and wet leaf litter baits were evaluated in terms of their efficiency (number of individuals collected) and effectiveness (number of species collected) for possible adoption as part of standard protocol for collecting insects and other arthropods in cave biodiversity surveys and ecological studies. Both types of baits were supplied through traps modified from Slaney and Weinstein's 1996 design and used to collect insects from the entrance, twilight and dark zones of Bulalon Cave, Burdeos, Polillo Island, Quezon Province.

Altogether, 18 traps collected 1,822 insects in 24 hours. The insects were identified to 11 orders, 54 families and 102 species, with the general assumption that each morphologically different individual belongs to a different species or morpho-species. The two baits did not differ significantly (α = 0.05) in terms of average efficiency and effectiveness in all of the three zones in the cave. However, the taxonomic composition of the catches of the two traps were different (Sørensen Index of Similarity: entrance zone = 52.174, twilight zone = 55.814, dark zone = 49.123). The results suggest that both traps should be used in tandem with visual and other methods if a collection representing the entire cave insect community is desired.

Key words: cave arthropods, cave biodiversity, cave ecology, litter baiting, Polillo Island, sampling effectiveness, sampling efficiency

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