India discovers 67 animal species, 29 plant speciesJune 5th, 2008 - 10:47 pm ICT by IANS
By Prashant K. Nanda
New Delhi, June 5 (IANS) Indian scientists have discovered 67 new animal species, including fishes, spiders and crop eating insects, and 29 plant species, including grass and flower varieties, last year. “All these discoveries were made in 2007 and they are vital additions to the plant and animal science of India and the world,” Ramakrishna, director of Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), told IANS Thursday.
“Whenever we come across any new species, we bring them to the laboratories and match them with the present ones and if they are unique then we record them,” he said.
He said a majority of the new species have come from western and eastern ghats, Andaman Nicober Islands and northeastern states.
He said ZSI has found 28 species from the eastern Himalayan region and two of them are new fish species. While the Brachydanio jaintianensis fish was found in Meghalaya, Bhavania auranachalensis has been found in Arunachal Pradesh’s Lohit district.
Speaking about a new insect species Corticaromus rueekeri, Ramakrishna said it was found in a fungal colony in humus and litter in Nagaland. The insect helps in decomposition and mineralisation of humus and enhances productivity of soil.
Mizoram was the state with the maximum discoveries in 2007, with 20 new species found there.
According to ZSI, India is known to have over 7.35 percent of the animal species that the world holds. In absolute numbers, the country is home to 91,212 animal species including 61,151 insect varieties.
M. Sanjappa, director of Botanical Survey of India (BSI), said that during 2007, 29 new species of plants were found.
“We carry out over 120 surveys every year and these additions are its outcome,” said Sanjappa.
Trachys copeana is one such grass species discovered in Tamil Nadu. The species grows in sandy areas near seashores and in coconut groves. Another small herb species, called Pin Valley, was found in Himachal Pradseh. This herb, which also flowers, grows near streams at altitudes between 3,800 and 3,900 metres.
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