Biodiversity Current Affairs - 2019

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Pangio Bhujia: New eel-loach species discovered in Kerala

Researchers from Kerala have discovered new species of eel-loach named ‘Pangio bhujia’ in Kozhikode district of state. It is unique species of miniature well-dwelling subterranean fish. It is the first species of eel-loach in the world that has been discovered to be living in subterranean environments. Eel-loaches are generally found in fast-flowing streams in the south and the south-east Asia.

About Pangio bhujia

Discovery: It was discovered living in a six-metre-deep homestead well used for potable and irrigation pur­pose, as well as from channel connecting pond to an adjacent paddy field in the village of Cherinjal in Kozhikode.

Name and Genus: It has been named ‘Pangio bhujia’, due to its resemblance to the North Indian snack, bhujia. It belongs to genus Pangio.

Characteristics: It is approximately 3 centimetres long and pinkish-red in colour. It resides in purest waters of deep subterranean aquifers. It has several unique characters including absence of dorsal fin, which has never been encountered in genus Pangio to which this new species belongs to. It is also unique among order Cypriniformes (an order of ray-finned fish, including the carps, minnows, loaches, and relatives) and highly unusual even among teleost or bony fishes generally.

Peacock Parachute Spider: Rare tarantula sighted for first time

Researchers have sighted critically endangered species of tarantula- Peacock Parachute Spider for first time beyond its known habitat in the Eastern Ghats. Its known habitat is in degraded forests near Nandyal in Andhra Pradesh. Recently, it was spotted in a cave in Pakkamalai Reserve Forests (in Eastern Ghats) near Gingee in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu.

About Peacock Parachute Spider

It belongs to the genus Poecilotheria. It is commonly known as Peacock Parachute Spider or Gooty Tarantula. It is endemic to India. It was sighted for first time way back in 1899 by Reginald Innes Pocock on the basis of a single female specimen in Gooty. It is considered as biological pest controller.

Threats: There is huge demand for tarantulas by collectors in the pet trade. There is an urgent need to protect them.

Protection status: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) categorised it as Critically Endangered.