Physico-chemical properties of pit soil of antlion larvae (Genus Myrmeleon sp.) with special reference to its population density
Anila K, Francy K Kakkassery
Antlion larvae made its conical pits in dry loose soil and predate small insects that fall down in to it. The Genus Myrmeleon coming under family Myrmeleontidae is a common pit building antlion larvae of Kerala, also a least studied group too. The larval stage is lengthy and may take up to two years to complete its larval stage. So the substrate should be more apt for the pit building behaviour as well as the high survival rate of the antlion larvae. Here, the antlion larvae Genus Myrmeleon inhabited substrate was collected and texture was noted by Hydrometer method. Out of the 27 soil samples collected from seven districts of Kerala, all the samples are coming under the texture class sand (six samples- fine sand, 21samples- sand). The four habitats were noted such as abandoned area, human dwelling area, forest boundaries and river banks. The habitat wise sand, silt & clay content were also examined and its chemical components were estimated. The highest number of larvae were collected from abandoned areas followed by human dwelling area and the textures in these two habitats were sand. The conclusion from this study depicts that, they prefer sand for making its pit and the population density of this medium is high. Ten chemical components of the media were correlated with population density and show a negative correlation with K and Ca.
Anila K, Francy K Kakkassery. Physico-chemical properties of pit soil of antlion larvae (Genus Myrmeleon sp.) with special reference to its population density. International Journal of Entomology Research, Volume 7, Issue 1, 2022, Pages 81-85