A team of scientists from Shillong, Meghalaya, has found a new species of cicada, which is a first. The Platylomia Kohimaensis cicada is the first indigenous species to be discovered in Nagaland.
Scientists from Shillong’s North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) lead the team. Dr. S R Hajong, an associate professor and entomologist in NEHU’s Department of Zoology, and Dr. Limatemjen co-authored research that published their findings. On Tuesday, the paper was published in the taxonomic journal ‘Zootaxa.’
“The study was part of a project funded by the Centre’s Department of Biotechnology under which, 70 cicada species from the Northeast were inventoried,” Hajong said.
Other new species of fauna discovered recently in India
According to Animal Discoveries 2020, a publication issued by the Zoological Survey of India revealed that India has introduced 557 new species to its fauna, including 407 new species and 150 new records (ZSI). With the discovery of the new species, the number of faunal species in India has risen to 1,02,718.
Some interesting new species
Trimeresurus Salazar, a new species of green pit viper discovered in Arunachal Pradesh; Lycodon deccanensis, the Deccan wolf snake discovered in Karnataka; and Sphaerotheca Bengaluru, a new species of burrowing frog named after the city of Bengaluru, are among the new species identified in 2020.
Xyrias anjaalai, a new deep-water snake eel from Kerala; Glyptothorax giudikyensis, a new species of catfish from Manipur; and Clyster Galatians, a new species of scarab beetle from the Great Nicobar Biosphere, round out the list.
Myotis cf. frater, a bat species previously only known from China, Taiwan, and Russia, has been reported for the first time from Uttarakhand in India; and Zoothera citrina Gibsonville, an Orange-headed thrush previously only known from southern Myanmar to south Thailand (central Malay peninsula), has been reported for the first time from India based on a collection made from the Narcondam irrigation system.
With 486 species, invertebrates account for the majority of the 557 species, while vertebrates account for 71. Invertebrates dominated with 344 species, while vertebrates were dominated by Pisces and reptiles.
Karnataka (66 species) had the newest species discovered among the states, followed by Kerala (51 species). In addition, 46 new species were discovered in Rajasthan and 30 in West Bengal in 2020.
Arunachal Pradesh led the country in terms of new records or species discovered for the first time (20 new records). In 2020, 25 new species were found and 16 new records were recorded in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
In 2020, experts and researchers from the ZSI contributed 121 new species and 86 new records out of 557 new species found.
According to a data study of the 2010-2020 decade, a total of 4,112 species were added to the Indian fauna, including 2,800 new species and 1,312 new records. It’s also worth noting that scientists from the ZSI were responsible for 34% (948 species) of newly described species and 68 percent (898) of newly reported species in the recent decade.
Since 2007, Animal Discoveries has been published by the ZSI, which was founded in 1916 by British naturalist Thomas Nelson Annandale.
Dhriti Banerjee, Director, Zoological Survey of India, commented on the publication, saying that the discovery and description of a species is a lengthy process that can take years, from collecting a specimen to identifying and matching the specimen with other records in repositories to finally publishing the details in a journal.
According to the ZSI report, India is a mega biodiverse, biodiversity-rich country, with forest and tree cover covering 23.39 percent of its land area. “India is positioned 8th in mega biodiversity countries in the world with 0.46 BioD index which is calculated by its percentage of species in each group relative to the total global number of species in each group,” the document adds.