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Kerala’s damselfly checklist gets a new member

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    30th Jul, 2022


A new damselfly species from the Western Ghats in the Peechi Wildlife Sanctuary in Thrissur has been discovered. With this new addition, the odonates’ checklist of Kerala has now grown to 182.

Odonata is an order of carnivorous insects, encompassing dragonflies and damselflies. 

The Species

  • The species is named Anamalai Reed-tail (scientific name: Protosticta anamalaica Sadasivan, Nair and Samuel, 2022).
  • The discovery has been published in the Journal of Threatened Taxa.
  • The tiny insect was first spotted at Ponmudi hills in the Peechi Wildlife Sanctuary that forms part of the Nelliampathies–Anamalais sub-unit of the Munnar landscape in November 2021.
  • The group later spotted the same species from Mankulam, Malakkappara and Edamalakudy.
  • This is the second species belonging to the damselfly genus Protosticta to be described by the TNHS researchers after Ponmudi Reed-tail (Protosticta ponmudiensis) that was described in 2015 from Ponmudi hills in Thiruvananthapuram.

The addition of Protosticta anamalaica to the checklist raises the odonata species diversity of the Western Ghats to 208 with 81 endemics.  Kerala has 182 species with 69 endemics.

About the genus

  • The genus was described from Sulawesi in Indonesia.
  • The genus has 53 extant species distributed from Pakistan, through the Indian subcontinent to Indo-China and south-eastern Asian islands.
  • There are 15 species of Protosticta in India, among which 12 inhabit the Western Ghats.

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