Second Exploration of Arthropod Biodiversity in Rice Ecosystems on Hainan Island

J. Catindig, S. Villareal, A.T. Barrion, International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, Philippines
D.C. Cai, Hainan University, P.R. China

Group picture of exploration team

The second arthropod biodiversity exploration on Hainan Island was conducted from March 28 to April 9, 2011. This was a follow up of the first exploration in 2010 where 4 or 5 species of un-described spiders were found. Eight sites were investigated, namely: DAPO, Lingshiu, Sanya, Jian Feng Li Rainforest (Yulingo), Danzhou Campus, Song Tao Reservoir in Danzhou, Xihua Xincun Village at Dacheng Town in Danzhou, and Hongwei in Hakou. Arthropods were collected by several techniques, such as sweep nets, pitfall traps, yellow pan traps, hand picking, blow-vac suction machine, and light traps.  Professors and students from Hainan University and Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences joined the expedition.

A large diversity of butterflies, moths, beetles and hoppers were found.

In this exploration, considerably large numbers of colorful moths and butterflies were collected by the light traps. A number of new records and undescribed species of spiders are likely. In the first expedition, 4 new species of spiders were found and one of them fully described and published. This time we also took pictures of more than 100 species of spiders, beetles, bugs and hoppers, and moths and butterflies. We now go through the time consuming tasks of sorting, identifications and counting in the next few months.

In this exploration we also assessed farmers’ practices with regards to biodiversity conservation and a total of 80 farmers from Lingshiu, Sanya, Danzhou, and Haikou were interviewed. Prof. Cai and colleagues assisted the surveys. From the interviews, we found that most farmers sprayed their rice field two to three times early in the season for protection against rice leaffolders.

Students interviewing rice farmers in Sanya and Lingshiu