GUWAHATI, May 6 � Two new spider species have been discovered by a group of Gauhati University (GU) researchers recently from the tilling fields of Sonitpur district of the State, establishing yet again the richness of the State in biodiversity stocks.
The new species have been named as Wadicosa prasantae and Chrysilla assamensi. The report of the discovery has been published in the Journal of New Biological Reports (ISSN-2319 � 1104).
Prof Prasanta Kumar Saikia of the Animal Ecology and Wildlife Biology Laboratory of the GU Department of Zoology, who led the team of researchers, told this correspondent that the newly discovered spider genus Chrysilla has been reported for the first time from India. At present, only eight species of this genus have been reported from across the globe.
Prior to the GU researchers� discovery, distribution of all the eight species of the genus were reported from Myanmar, China, Australia, Africa, Indonesia, Pakistan and Malaysia.
The other newly discovered species of spider falls under the Genus Wadicosa, and it has been named as Wadicosa prasantae. Five species of the genus Wadicosa have so far been discovered. They are reported from Turkmenistan Republic, China, Palearctic, Canary, Ryukyu, Sri Lanka and Southern India.
The type specimens (Holotype) of both the newly discovered species have been deposited in the Biodiversity Museum of Animal Ecology and Wildlife Biology of the GU Department of Zoology. All the two species of spiders are new to science, Prof Saikia said.
The group of scientists of the Animal Ecology and Wildlife Biology Laboratory comprises Mansur Ahmed, Jinnath Anam and Dr Malabika Kakati Saikia of GU and Dr SV Manthem of Daryapur, Maharashtra.
According to Prof Saikia, this discovery of two spider species from the agricultural ecosystem of Assam is opening up new vistas of research in biological control in the area of agro-ecosystem and could provide a better option in the days to come for integrated pest management practices. Spider is an efficient predator of our natural ecosystem at the lower level of the food chain and is a good friend of farmers, asserted Prof Saikia.