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Showing posts from August, 2015

Some Insects and Spiders of Kanha Tiger Reserve

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On behalf of The Corbett Foundation, I studied the insect and spider diversity of Kanha – and this study has revealed some important and interesting facets about Kanha’s ecology. This report is not a publication yet, and it will be some time since it will be made public – but those visiting Kanha Tiger Reserve (KTR) can visit the KTR head office in Mandla and shuffle through this report in their library, or pay a visit to our centre near Mukki Gate of Kanha where you can sit and browse through our library. This book covers 550 individual specimens of insects and spiders (436 insect species and 114 spider species) along with photographs and notes on their ecology.
Salient features of insects of Kanha: ·Ants are the most common social insects of KTR, and crickets are the most common solitary ground-dwelling insects. ·There are several first records for Kanha, and central India as a whole: Methocha sp. (Hymenoptera), Pseudagrion splendidissima (Odonata), Tropidomantis sp. (Mantodea), Forci…

Tigers of the Undergrowth

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“There is no ruckus of langurs, no cacophony of birds, and no trace of the hunt that just took place. The sal trees stand silent, the first rays of the sun now making their way through a crack in the canopy. Standing here, and looking all around, I can see at least seven large orb-webs of the giant wood spider spanning from tree to tree, their anchor-threads that work like beams of a building stretching as long as four metres in length. On shrubs closer to the ground, the web of an orchard spider catches the early sunlight, splitting it in the hues of a rainbow as it dances in the morning breeze. A two-tailed spider, the tree-bark hunter, waits patiently for a passing ant, its excellent camouflage hiding it from prying eyes. In this land of the tiger, another supreme predator has claimed its own niche, and is very much the tiger of the undergrowth – the spider.” Studying the diversity of spiders of Kanha Tiger Reserve – the essence of Central Indian Highlands – was enlightening. I co…