Related Topics: Environment & Biodiversity, Zoological Survey of India


Why in News

Scientists of the Zoological Survey of India have discovered seven species of water treaders, semi-aquatic insects that can walk or run on the surface of water.


News in Detail

  • The newly described species belong to the genus Mesovelia whose size ranges from 1.5 mm to 4.5 mm.
  • They are equipped with hydrophobic setae (bristles) on their legs.
  • The combination of hydrophobic setae and water surface tension prevents them from sinking.
  • The insects are pale green with silver-white wings with black veins on the basal half which make them stand out over the green mat of aquatic weeds.
  • There are 12 species of genus Mesovelia found in the country.


How it is different from water striders?

  • Other than the size, there are morphological features that make these pond-weed insects different from water striders.
  • The claws of Mesovelia are placed apically (tip or extreme end of legs), whereas in water striders, they arise from the pre-apex (just before the tip) of legs.


New species discovered

  • Mesovelia andamana (Andaman Islands)
  • bispinosa and M. Isiasi (Meghalaya)
  • occulta and M. Tenuia (Tamil Nadu)
  • brevia and M. Dilatata (Meghalaya and Tamil Nadu)


[Source: The Hindu]

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