Mumbai: As per a data released by the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), India has added 557 new species to its fauna, which includes 407 new species and 150 new records. Thus, the number of faunal species in India has increased to 1,02,718.
The new species includes Trimeresurus salazar, a new species of green pit viper discovered from Arunachal Pradesh, a new deep water species of snake eel from Kerala named Xyrias anjaalai, Glyptothorax giudikyensis, a new species of catfish from Manipur, Lycodon deccanensis, the Deccan wolf snake discovered from Karnataka, Sphaerotheca Bengaluru, a new species of burrowing frog named after the city of Bengaluru and Clyster galateansis, a new species of scarab beetles from the Great Nicobar Biosphere.
The new records include, Myotis cf. frater, which was reported for the first time in the country. This bat species earlier known from China, Taiwan and Russia was reported from Uttarakhand. Another one is Zoothera citrina gibsonhilli, an orange-headed thrush earlier known from southern Myanmar to south Thailand. This was reported for the first time from India based on a collection made from the Narcondam island in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The highest number of new species were discovered from Karnataka (66 species), followed by Kerala (51 species), Rajasthan (46 species) and West Bengal (30 species).
In terms of new records of species discovered in the country, Arunachal Pradesh stands at the top with 20 new records. In the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 25 new species were discovered and 16 new records were reported in 2020.
Among the 557 new species discovered, scientists and researchers from the Zoological Survey of India contributed 121 new species and 86 new records in 2020.
Of these 557 species, invertebrates constitute the majority with 486 species, while 71 species belong to vertebrates. Among invertebrates, insects dominated, with 344 species, whereas pisces and reptiles dominated among vertebrates.