DIVERSITY AND SEASONAL ABUNDANCE OF PREDATORY SPIDER FAUNA IN PADDY ECOSYSTEM
A field experiment was conducted during kharif 2019 to study the dynamics and diversity of spiders in paddy ecosystemÂ at Rajendranagar, Telangana. A total of 22 spider species were documented belonging to 11 families and 20 genera. Out of 22Â species 6 species were dominant viz., Pardosa pseudoannulata, Chrysso sp., Tetragnatha mandibulata, T. elongata, Lycosa
pseudoannulata, Leucage sp.; 15 species were sub-dominant viz., Runcinia grammica, Heteropoda venatoria, Arctosa maculata,Â Araneus inustus, Argiope anasuja, Zygiella notata, Z. indica, Chieranthium sp., Agelenopsis sp., Atypena formosana, HamataliwaÂ sp., Oxyopes salticus, Bianor aurocinctus, Evarcha falcata, Mymarachne sp. and one species was satellite i.e., Neoscona theisi.Â Among all species P. pseudoannulata was most dominant and N. theisi was scarce. Of all families recorded, Tetragnathidae wasÂ predominant, while Linyphiidae was least representative of total spider population in experimental plot. Density, Shannon-WeinerÂ index (Hâ€™), Simpsonâ€™s diversity index (Ã«), Margalef richness index (D) and Pielouâ€™s evenness index (J) ranged from 0.30 to 7.90Â sq. m, 1.10 to 2.84, 0.83 to 1.00, 1.82 to 6.79 and 0.35 to 0.91, respectively, indicating that spider fauna in paddy ecosystem wereÂ moderately diverse and evenly distributed. The highest diversity was recorded during reproductive stage of crop i.e., 36 to 40Â Standard meteorological weeks (SMW) during high pest density, suggesting paddy ecosystem of Rajendranagar could beÂ pronounced to be a stable ecosystem with moderate diversity of spiders.