Abstract

The Cuban archipelago has 79 Phyllophaga species with a 98.6 % of endemism, which makes the group ecologically and economically important, as some species are classified as crop pests. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between the composition and structure of the Phyllophaga assemblages with their habitat type, considering both plant structure and level of human habitat disturbance. A total of 17 locations were sampled in Western Cuba during the rainy seasons of the period from 2011 to 2015; these differed in habitat types (forests and agroecosystems). Samplings followed standard methods and were made once with a light trap screen in each locality. A total of 1153 individuals of 24 Phyllophaga species were collected. The total abundance of collected individuals varied between 10 and 306, and species richness between two and nine species. The most abundant species was Phyllophaga dissimilis (Chevrolat) which also had the highest frequency of occurrence. Generally, less anthropized sites reflected richer and equitative communities; although these characteristics appeared in two sites that showed intermediate degree of disturbance. The non-metric multidimensional scaling showed that the most similar samples were those of the very anthropized sites; this similarity was given mainly by the abundance of Phyllophaga dissimilis, P. insualepinorum and P. puberula. Besides, the geographical distance was not related to the similarity of these assemblages.

Keywords: Phyllophaga, communities, composition, abundance, bioindicator