New spider species named after Keralite arachnologist

Draposa sebastiani named after P.A. Sebastian, who was the pioneer spider taxonomist from the State

June 10, 2023 05:53 pm | Updated 05:56 pm IST - Thrissur

Draposa sebastiani, a new spider species discovered from the Wayanad forests.

Draposa sebastiani, a new spider species discovered from the Wayanad forests. | Photo Credit: ARRANGEMENT

Researchers of the Centre for Animal Taxonomy and Ecology (CATE), Christ College, Irinjalakuda, have discovered a new spider species belonging to the wolf spider family (Lycosidae) from the Wayanad forests.

The new species has given the name Draposa sebastiani to honour the late arachnologist P.A. Sebatian. Dr. Sebastian was the pioneer spider taxonomist from Kerala, who founded an exclusive spider research centre at Sacred Heart College, Thevara. He has authored numerous scientific articles, books and trained many arachnologists. His contributions to Indian arachnology are invaluable, said Sudhikumar A.V., Head, Department of Zoology, Christ College.

P.A. Sebastian

P.A. Sebastian | Photo Credit: ARRANGEMENT

Dr. Sudhikumar and CSIR research fellow Abhijith R.S. are behind the discovery. Both the researchers are alumni of Sacred Heart College.

Genus Draposa is a relatively newly discovered group in the wolf spider family. They are 3-4 mm in size, ground runners, found in grasslands, and hunt prey without using spider webs. They are one of the most important predators of pests and have a huge role in biological pest control.

The research was funded by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi. The discovery got published in latest edition of international biodiversity journal Taprobanica.

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