According to a document published recently by the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) Animal Discoveries 2020 reveals that India has added 557 new species to its fauna, which includes 407 new species and 150 new records. The number of faunal species in India has increased now to 1,02,718 species with the discovery of the new species.
What are they new species?
The list also includes a new deep water species of snake eel from Kerala named Xyrias anjaalai, Glyptothorax giudikyensis, a new species of catfish from Manipur; and Clyster galateansis, a new species of scarab beetles from the Great Nicobar Biosphere.
Among the new records, Myotis cf. Frater, a bat species earlier known from China, Russia etc, has been reported for the first time from Uttarakhand in India. And Zoothera citrina gibsonhilli, an orange-headed thrush earlier known from southern Myanmar to south Thailand, reported for the first time from India at Narcondam island in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
From which states the species have been discovered?
The highest number of new species were discovered from Karnataka (66 species), followed by Kerala (51 species). Also in 2020, 46 new species were discovered from Rajasthan and 30 from West Bengal.
In terms of new records of species discovered in the country, Arunachal Pradesh stands at the top with 20 new records. In the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, 25 new species were discovered and 16 new records reported in 2020.
Contribution of Zoological Survey of India
Among the 557 new species discovered, scientists and researchers from the Zoological Survey of India contributed 121 new species and 86 new records in 2020.
According to data analysis of the 2010-2020 decade, scientists of the Zoological Survey of India contributed to 34% of the newly described species and 68% of the newly recorded species.