Grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acridoidea) species diversity in the Pampas, Argentina

Authors

  • María Marta Cigliano,

    1. *Departamento Científico de Entomología, Museo de Ciencias Naturales, Paseo del Bosque s/n 1900 La Plata, Argentina. E-mail: lange@mail.retina.ar, †Centro de Estudios Parasitológicos y de Vectores (CEPAVE), Calle 2 Nro. 584 1900 La Plata, Argentina
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  • María Laura De Wysiecki,

    1. *Departamento Científico de Entomología, Museo de Ciencias Naturales, Paseo del Bosque s/n 1900 La Plata, Argentina. E-mail: lange@mail.retina.ar, †Centro de Estudios Parasitológicos y de Vectores (CEPAVE), Calle 2 Nro. 584 1900 La Plata, Argentina
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  • Carlos E. Lange

    1. *Departamento Científico de Entomología, Museo de Ciencias Naturales, Paseo del Bosque s/n 1900 La Plata, Argentina. E-mail: lange@mail.retina.ar, †Centro de Estudios Parasitológicos y de Vectores (CEPAVE), Calle 2 Nro. 584 1900 La Plata, Argentina
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Abstract

Abstract.  A study was conducted to describe the major features of geographical and temporal variation in the diversity of grassland grasshopper species (Orthoptera: Acridoidea) in different sites of the Pampas, Argentina. Species richness and relative abundance were assessed at 12 sites in eastern La Pampa and western Buenos Aires provinces, from 1994 through 1999. Mean species richness at the regional level was 10, and 34 grasshopper species were collected throughout of the study. Comparison with grasshopper species diversity from the Great Plains of North America is discussed. An evaluation of the proportions of species in each of the three distribution groups (broad, intermediate and narrow) revealed that, over all sites, broadly distributed species made up 14.7% of species composition and intermediately and narrowly distributed species made up 26.5% and 58.8%, respectively. The three top-ranked species in the studied sites were Dichroplus elongatus, D. pratensis and Staurorhectus longicornis. Results showed that, contrary to what was expected, one of the widely distributed species in the region (i.e. Baeacris punctulatus) does not always constitute one of the most abundant species. Finally, the loss of one of the historically most common species in the Pampas, D. maculipennis, is also discussed.

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