- A small-granulated dark black and brown coloured pygmy grasshopper measuring about 9.07 mm was discovered in the forests of Chhattisgarh last month as by the Scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI).
The new discovery
- It was collected from moist deciduous forests in Korba district, the species has been named Coptotettix korbensis.
- The details of the new species has been published in international science journals Zootaxa and Annales de la Societe Entomologique de France.
- The short-horned grasshopper Epistaurus tinsensis was brought to light few months ago.
- The species was collected from the Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary in Raipur.
- Epistaurus tinsensis has a yellowish brown body with dense long silvery pubescence and is slightly larger than the recently discovered species.
- There five others were discovered in 2016.
- Four of the new discoveries were pygmy grasshopper Euparatettix dandakaranyensis from Bastar district of South Chhattisgarh, Poekilocerus geniplanus and Hedotettix angulatus from Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary and Ergatettix subtruncatus from Durg district of Chhattisgarh. Heteropternis raipurensis, a species of short-horned grasshopper, was discovered from Raipur district.
- Both pygmy and short-horned grasshoppers belong to Orthoptera (an order of Insecta).
- One major difference between them is pronotum (prominent plate-like structure that covers all or part of the thorax of some insects). This extended backwards to cover abdomen in the pygmy, which is not the case with the short-horned.
- Kailash Chandra, Director of ZSI, said the faunal diversity of the Chhattisgarh forests have not been explored earlier because of the difficult terrain and left-wing extremism.
- Collection of a lot of specimens of insects from 2011 have been done and an agreement with the Chhattisgarh government is also on papers.
- There are total of 1,033 species of Orthoptera in India, including 285 short-horned and 135 pygmy grasshoppers.
- These discoveries are interesting as grasshoppers have economic and ecological interest.
- They form an important link in the food chain and their predators include reptiles, amphibians, and birds and help directly in the protection of endangered species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes.