Environment & Ecology
In News: Money spider, ant-mimicking spider discovered at Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
- Money spiders, commonly found in European meadows, have been reported for the first time in the country from the Muthanga range of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
- The species is called so as it is “believed to bring luck” to the person who comes in contact with it.
- The spider belongs to the family of dwarf spiders (Linyphiidae) under the genus Prosoponoides.
- It has been given the name Prosoponoides biflectogynus.
- Only six species of spiders belonging to this genus have been identified from across the world so far.
- It is the first report of this genus from India and hence no extensive studies have been conducted on this species of spiders in the country
- The male and the female money spiders are typically 3 mm and 4 mm long respectively.
- Both sexes are dark brown and have irregular silver patches and black spots on elliptical abdomen.
- There are numerous fine black spines on their olive green legs.
- Eight dark eyes are arranged in two rows
- Females build triangular webs in between dry tree twigs and feed on small insects, while males prefer to hide beneath dry leaves.
- Two or more male spiders can be found in the web of a single female.
- Research team also discovered ant-mimicking spiders, belonging to the group of jumping spiders, from the Mananthavady range.
- They belong to the family of Salticidae.
- The ant-mimicking spider has been named Toxeus alboclavus
- They perfectly mimic ants by lifting their front pair of legs while walking as a mechanism to escape from potential predators.
- Only three species of this genus have been reported from India, and this is the first species reported from the Western Ghats
- The male and the female spiders of this species grow up to 4 mm and 6 mm long respectively.
- A pair of white stripes on the dark brown abdomen of females makes them distinct from other spiders of this group.
- The male of the species are characterized by a brown cephalic region and black thorax with white hairs.
- The forward-projecting fangs have a characteristic shape of an antler.
- Long spines are present on the base of each leg.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS)
- Located in Kerala, WWS is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It was established in 1973.
- Spread over 344.44 sq km, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is contiguous to the tiger reserves of Nagerhole and Bandipur of Karnataka and Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu.
- Kabini river (a tributary of Cauvery river) flows through the sanctuary.
- The forest types include South Indian Moist Deciduous forests, West coast semi-evergreen forests and plantations of teak, eucalyptus and Grewelia.
- Elephant, Gaur, Tiger, Panther,Sambar, Spotted deer, Barking deer, Wild boar, Sloth bear, Nilgiri langur, Bonnet macaque, Common langur, Wild dog, common otter, Malabar giant squirrel etc are the major mammals.
Other wildlife parks within the Reserve (Nilgiri Biosphere) are: Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Bandipur National Park, Nagarhole National Park, Mukurthi National Park and Silent Valley.
Previous Year Questions (PYQs)
Q.1) Which one of the following is a filter feeder? (2021)
Q.1) Which of the following Protected Areas are located in the Cauvery basin? (2020)
- Nagarhole National Park
- Papikonda National Part
- Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve
- Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
- 1 and 2 only
- 3 and 4 only
- 1, 3 and 4 only
- 1, 2, 3 and 4
Source: The Hindu
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