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Rare odonate species spotted in Western Ghats

Austrolestes annulosusA rare odonate species was located for the first time in the southern parts of Western Ghats on 5 January 2014.

The entire range of hills from Tapi to Kanyakumari with a length of around 1500km and approx. area of 1.6 lakh sq.kms is known as the Western Ghats. The actual area under forests is around 30%.

The species uses use tree holes as a larval habitat.  The species was found to breed in the tree holes of evergreen and semi-evergreen forests in the southern Western Ghats. Western Ghats is one of the biodiversity hotspots of India and has a wealth of diversity of different species.

Western Ghats is also known by other names such as Sahyadri in Maharashtra, Nilgiri in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and Annamalai and Cardamom hills in Kerala.

The region is highly rich in biodiversity and is one of the biodiversity hot spots of India. A new frog species was discovered in Western Ghats, Nasikabactrachus sahyadrensis

Many species of odonates are known to use phytotelmata (plant-held waters), as a breeding habitat worldwide. But no species are known to breed in phytotelmata in India.

Odonates are mainly aquatic insect group and their part of lifecycle completed through aquatic environment.  All rivers with the riparian zones, perennial streams and meadows form key areas of the reserve and provide best opportunity to the odonates to flourish.

Read more on- Western Ghats- Threats, Conservation and Controversy

Disclaimer: Image (Austrolestes annulosus) used here is for illustration purpose only

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