Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Richness of tiger moths (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) in the Brazilian Cerrado: how much do we know?

G. Ferro, VivianeS. Melo, AdrianoR. Diniz, Ivone

The Cerrado biome is located in the central region of Brazil and consists mainly of savanna vegetation. In this study we assessed the richness of tiger moths (Arctiidae) of the Brazilian Cerrado. Specifically, we 1) assessed species richness in one-degree cells in the biome, 2) identified areas where these moths are poorly known, and 3) tested if similarities in species composition are related to geographical distance in the relatively well-sampled areas. We obtained the data mainly from specimens deposited in museums, but we also included additional information from the literature. We compiled 2,321 records belonging to 723 species. Specimens were recorded in 108 localities distributed in 67 one-degree cells. Species occurring exclusively in one or two one-degree cells represented 64% of the total number of species. Sample effort was not uniform in the biome, as there were very few records in the northern region of the Cerrado. The best-sampled one-degree cell had 239 species. Species assemblages were structured in space with a clear trend of localities near one another presenting more similarities in faunal composition than distant localities. This distance decay in similarity was slightly more pronounced along the longitudinal than along the latitudinal distances. We conclude that the Cerrado still remains poorly inventoried for tiger moths, particularly in its northern portion, where many unrecorded species may be found in the future. Despite of this limited knowledge, the best-sampled region indicates that richness of tiger moths in the Cerrado is comparable to the species-rich forest biomes in the Neotropical region.

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