Composition and species richness of the community of Coleoptera (Insecta) in the Caatinga
ABSTRACT The beetles present great taxonomic and functional diversity; however, in the Northeast region of Brazil, especially in the semiarid Caatinga region, the knowledge on the Coleoptera fauna is very restricted. Because the Caatinga presents different landscapes, it is important to survey the coleopterofauna in the different phytophysiognomies, seeking to encompass a spatial variability found in this xeric region. Therefore, the objective of this study was to perform a survey of beetles in the semiarid region of Paraíba state, Northeast Brazil. We collected weekly during four years (2009-2013) using Malaise traps in two phytophysiognomies, an area with xerophytic vegetation and another with riparian forest. A total of 6,567 individuals belonging to 383 species and 42 families of Coleoptera were sampled. Chrysomelidae (78 spp.), Curculionidae (57 spp.), and Cerambycidae (28 spp.) had a higher richness, while Chrysomelidae (30.4% of individuals), Curculionidae (8.3%), and Tenebrionidae (7.7%) were the most abundant. A large number of singletons and doubletons were collected despite the long sampling period, indicating that there must be much more species to be recorded. Our results demonstrate a rich fauna of beetles in the studied region. We provide a list of occurring beetles with new records of species for the Paraíba state and thus contribute to the knowledge of the diversity of the Coleoptera in the Northeast Brazil.