Bengal, German scientists discover new beetle in Kolkata

KOLKATA: A group of scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Kalyani University in Bengal and Alexander Koenig Leibniz Institute in Germany has discovered a new phytophagous beetle species in Kolkata, the ZSI said in a statement. The group comprising scientists Debika Bhunia, Devanshu Gupta, Subhankar Kumar Sarkar and Dirk Ahrens discovered the beetle in Behala in southern fringes of the city and named it Maladerakolkataensis, the statement issued on Thursday said.
Phytophagous insects are those that feed on green plants using smell to locate the host plants. They attack roots, stems, leaves and fruits either as larvae or as adults or in both stages.
The team also reported having come across 21 new zoological species in West Bengal and Bihar. Out of these, 12 species were found in Bihar and nine in West Bengal, the statement said.
ZSI director Dhriti Banerjee said, “Biodiversity is not all lost or dwindling, there is hope and the measures taken by the ministry of environment, forests and climate change (MOEFCC) are bearing fruit”.
She added that such biodiversity studies are very much relevant in today’s economic context, as both these two states are part of the lower Gangetic plains, which is an epicentre of Indian agriculture.
She added this specific type of beetle feeds on different parts of plants, although there is no significant report on this insect being a pest.

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By jaghit

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