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New frog, insect species found

The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has reported the discovery of 12 new species of amphibians and 14 species of insects — not known to science — from 13 states in the last few years, reports Chetan Chauhan.

delhi Updated: Jun 08, 2009 00:53 IST
Chetan Chauhan

India’s Bio-diversity just got richer.

The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has reported the discovery of 12 new species of amphibians and 14 species of insects — not known to science — from 13 states in the last few years.

“It shows the richness of our bio-diversity,” Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh said while releasing the ZSI’s report ‘Animal Discoveries’ on Thursday — World Environment Day.

“We will strengthen the National Bio-Diversity Authority to protect our natural heritage.”

Although India has just two per cent of the world’s land, it houses 7.44 per cent (or 91,364) of its animal species. About 60 per cent of these are insects.

"Two times the number of species recorded still remains to be discovered in India," said Dr Ramakrishna, director, ZSI http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/images/discovery_feat.jpg— a body constituted in 1916 by the British to record animal groups in India.

The report was compiled by three scientists from ZSI whose search for new species took them to the far corners of the country.

Most of the discoveries were made in the Northeast. Scientists Rosamma Mathew and Nibedita Sen found several new species of frogs in Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.

Two new species of water frogs were found in the rivers of Manipur. Unlike conventional frogs, these have smooth skin and an ability to swim a distance. One of them looks like a big bee.

The most startling discovery was in Subansiri district of Arunachal, where a longish frog showing colouration and spots was discovered. The frog — found in different colour combinations — with the scientific name rhacophorus subansiriensis uses its tail to swim in shallow water and also stay on land.

In Karnataka’s Bhadra sanctuary, they discovered a male species of frogs with “distinct folds in its skin and swollen hands and feet that makes it different from others in the family”.

Kerala’s Chinnar and Thattekkad sanctuaries produced four new species of inspects. Discoveries were also made in Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.