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A new spider cricket discovered from Chhattisgarh

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    1st Jun, 2021


A new species of cricket is identified from the Kurra caves of Chhattisgarh in by a team of zoologists of the Zoology Department of Panjab University, Chandigarh.

  • The new subgenus was named Jayanti after Professor Jayant Biswas, one of the leading cave explorers in the country, who assisted the team.

Key-highlights of the discovery

  • The newly discovered cricket spider belongs to the subgenus, Indimimus.
    • The crickets of this group are commonly called spider crickets because of their smaller body size and long legs.
    • It is different from the two subgenera, Arachnomimus and Euarachnomimus, because of the male genitalia structure.
    • Insects have a lock-and-key model genitalia structure which is unique to each subgenus.
  • Genus: It is the twelfth subgenus, or species, of cricket identified under the genus Arachnomimus Saussure, 1897.
    • Arachnomimus is the genus name given by Swiss Entomologist Henri Louis Frédéric de Saussure in 1878 to crickets that resembled spiders.

Genus and subgenus

  • These are taxonomic levels created by taxonomists to classify organisms.
    • A genus is represented by a set of diagnostic characters.
  • Certain variations in characters compel taxonomists to divide the genus into subgenus and document the variation.

Understanding the communication process

  • Crickets are noticeable for their loud calls, especially at night. Male crickets produce this sound by rubbing their wings against each other to attract females.
    • The females listen to these calls using ears located on their legs and approach the males for mating and reproduction.
    • Males of the new Jayanti subgenus cannot produce sound and their females don’t have ears. The crickets were found on the walls of the Kurra caves which don’t have light inside.
      • They may be communicating by beating their abdomen or any other body part on the cave walls.

Hearing Aid

  • Vibrational communication is one of the softest but fastest modes of signal transmission.
  • It may help in designing hearing aids for human which can capture quietest signals and amplify to an audible hearing range.

  Significance of the discovery

  • Distribution of these species is very wide, ranging from Brazil to Malaysia. In India, the diversity of spider crickets is still unexplored.
  • Merely 1 percent of the total caves in India have been explored till now.