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New Sea Slug Species Named After President Murmu



  Mar 01, 2024

New Sea Slug Species Named After President Murmu



The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has recently discovered a new species of sea slug along the coasts of West Bengal and Odisha, named in honor of President Droupadi Murmu. This sea slug, identified as Melanochlamys droupadi, is unique to the region and characterized by its distinctive morphology and behavior.

Key Characteristics of Melanochlamys droupadi:

Genus: Melanochlamys, known for a short, blunt, cylindrical body with a smooth dorsal surface featuring two shields.
Appearance: It has a brownish-black color with a notable ruby red spot on its hind end and contains a shell inside its body.
Size: The species is small, reaching a maximum length of up to 7 mm.
Habitat: Found crawling on the intertidal zone of sandy beaches, leaving crawl marks behind.
Reproduction: The reproductive period is between November and January.

Discovery Locations:
West Bengal: Near Digha, specifically at Hospital Ghat, Old Digha, which is proximate to the Marine Aquarium Regional Centre, Zoological Survey of India. Odisha: In Udaipur, with specimens deposited at both the Marine Aquarium and Regional Centre, Digha, and the Estuarine Biology and Regional Centre, Gopalpur.

Research and Significance:
ZSI Director Dhriti Banerjee emphasized that the species was confirmed through detailed examination of its morphological, anatomical, and molecular characteristics. This discovery adds to the understanding of the biodiversity present in the temperate regions of the Indo-Pacific Oceanic realm and highlights the existence of truly tropical species within the Melanochlamys genus.

The naming of Melanochlamys droupadi after President Murmu signifies the importance of this discovery and honors the President’s contributions to the country. The research conducted by ZSI researchers, including Prasad Chandra Tudu, Sheikh Sajan, Smrutirekha Acharya, and Anil Mohapatra, provides valuable insights into the species’ behavior, such as its unique method of moving beneath sand to avoid sand grains from entering its parapodial space.

This discovery not only contributes to the scientific community’s understanding of marine biodiversity but also emphasizes the importance of conservation efforts in coastal regions.

SRIRAM’s


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