544 species add to India’s diversity in 2019

#GS3 #Environment #Biodiversity #NewSpecies

364 animal, 180 plant species discovered in 2019.

  • Cnemaspis anandani, a rock dwelling gecko endemic to the Western Ghats;
  • Sphaerotheca magadha, a burrowing frog discovered in the farm fields of Jharkhand;
  • Enoplotrupes tawangensis, a dung beetle from Tawang;
  • Amomum nagamiense, a wild ginger variety discovered from the forest behind the Kohima zoo in Nagaland;
  • Pteris subiriana, a wild fern found in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
  • These are among the 544 reasons India has to cheer !


More Insects

  • Animal Discoveries 2019 lists 368 faunal species as new to science, and 116 species as first records from India.
  • Among the discoveries, 294 species are invertebrates and 74 vertebrates.
  • Insects outnumbered other groups in general and in vertebrates, fish diversity is high with 38 new species and five new records.
  • Indian faunal diversity stood at 1,02,161 species, which was equivalent to 6.52% of all the species across the globe.


New Species

  • The ZSI had introduced modern methods such as DNA barcoding, entire genome sequencing, and X-rays for the identification of new species.
  • Plant Discoveries 2019 lists 180 new plant species and 73 new records discovered from the country.
  • This volume of plant discoveries contains 134 seed plants; five fern and fern allies; six bryophytes; 18 lichen; 51 fungi; 23 algae; and 16 microbes
  • The number of plant species found in India according to the BSI is 50,012, and accounts roughly for 12% of all flora species in the world.
  • Most of the new discoveries were reported from biogeography hotspots in the country. 
  • Data provided by the BSI stated that 28% of all plant discoveries in 2018 were made from the Western Ghats during 2019; followed by the eastern Himalayas (21%); the east coast (11%); and eastern plains (10%). 
  • The west coast has contributed 7% of the total discoveries, while the western Himalayas have contributed 6% of the discoveries. “Maximum (flora) discoveries were made from the State of Kerala, followed by Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Arunachal Pradesh,” the BSI publication stated.



  • Both the ZSI and BSI have been releasing Animal Discoveries and Plant Discoveries since 2007, and this is the 13th publication in the series. Data analysis from the past decade reveals that a total of 2,444 species of faunal communities are newly described from India, while the number of plant species described in the same period is about 3,500.
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