‘Nearly extinct’ damselfly species discovered close to Satara dam in Maharashtra

Satara, July 6

Three nature conservationists from Satara in Maharashtra claimed to have “rediscovered” a “nearly extinct” damselfly species ‘Lestes patricia’ after nearly 100 years.

A colony of this sub-species, christened ‘Lestes patricia taamrpatti’, was found by Dr Shriram Bhakare, Sunil Bhoite and Pratima Pawar-Bhoite from Umrodi Dam space, located on the foothills of the northern Western Ghats within the district.

According to the researchers, a single male specimen of Lestes patricia, endemic to the Western Ghats, was first found in 1922 from Kodagu (Coorg) district in Karnataka and the one specimen presently accessible is at Natural History Museum, London.

“The discovered colony of new species closely match the specimen of the single known male of Lestes patricia from the London-based museum. However, there are stable differences between the newly found species and description of Lestes patricia,” stated Bhoite.

“While comparing the body structure and features of the newly found species with an existing specimen of Lestes patricia from the London-based museum, stable differences were found. That is why the sub-species from the damselfly family has been named Lestes patricia taamrpatti,” he added.

Dr Bhakare, an ophthalmologist from Satara, stated the rationale behind including the phrase ‘taamrpatti’ was as a result of the species has a coppery red-brown uniform band bordered by black.

“The probability the newly found inhabitants is, in actual fact, a definite species can’t be dominated out, however can’t be confirmed till additional, recent specimens of Lestes patricia are made accessible from the locality in Kodagu.

“Since the stable features observed in the newly discovered population preclude it from being indisputably placed under Lestes patricia, yet given the lack of comparative material, it is not possible to place it as a new species with certainty,” he added.

So the newly found inhabitants from Maharashtra is tentatively positioned as a subspecies of Lestes patricia, Bhakare knowledgeable.

He stated a analysis paper on discovery of the practically extinct species was printed in Bionotes Journal not too long ago.

The researchers stated 10 specimens, comprising six males and 4 females, have been collected for examination.

Of the 10, two male and two feminine specimens have been deposited with Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), whereas the remainder might be saved at different depositories within the nation for additional analysis. —PTI


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