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Daily News Analysis

ARMAGEDDON REEDTAIL

3rd October, 2023 Environment

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Picture Courtesy: MIT-WPU

Context: The discovery of the new damselfly species, named 'Armageddon reedtail' or Protosticta armageddonia, in Kerala's southern Western Ghats is significant and highlights the pressing ecological crisis that the world faces, particularly the decline of insect populations.

Key Highlights

  • The researchers from MIT-World Peace University in Pune chose the name 'Armageddon reedtail' to draw attention to the global decline in insect populations due to habitat loss and climate change. This ominous name is intended to serve as a stark reminder of the ecological crisis.
  • The term 'ecological armageddon' or 'insect apocalypse' describes the devastating decline in insect populations worldwide. This decline has far-reaching consequences for ecosystems as insects play crucial roles in pollination, nutrient cycling, and serving as a food source for other animals.
  • Experts are using the discovery of this new species as a powerful call to action for world leaders to address urgent issues related to global warming and its catastrophic impact on biodiversity.
  • The new species has a dark brown to black body with vibrant greenish-blue eyes. Half of its eight abdominal segments are marked with delicate pale blue markings. It inhabits primary montane streams beneath dense canopy cover.
  • The forests of the Western Ghats, where this species was discovered, are undergoing rapid changes due to rampant development and habitat loss. This discovery is seen as a symbol of the broader environmental crisis faced by the region.

Damselflies

‚óŹDamselflies belong to the sub-order Zygoptera, meaning "paired wings."

‚óŹThey are mainly found near shallow, freshwater habitats and are graceful fliers with slender bodies and long, filmy, net-veined wings.

‚óŹDamselflies are generally smaller and more delicate than dragonflies. They fly weakly in comparison and have slender bodies.

‚óŹFemale damselflies use a bladelike ovipositor to place eggs inside plant tissue, facilitating their reproductive process.

‚óŹIn many species of damselflies, adults change colour as they mature, showcasing a fascinating aspect of their life cycle.

Conclusion

  • The discovery of the Armageddon reedtail damselfly species serves as a poignant symbol of the ecological crisis facing the world, particularly the decline of insect populations. It underscores the need for immediate action to address climate change and protect biodiversity.

PRACTICE QUESTION

Q. How do damselflies differ from dragonflies in terms of their flight and body characteristics?

A) Damselflies have colourful wings, while dragonflies have transparent wings.

B) Damselflies have slender bodies and weak flight, while dragonflies are robust fliers with larger bodies.

C) Damselflies are nocturnal, while dragonflies are diurnal.

D) Damselflies have longer antennae than dragonflies.

Answer: B

Explanation: Damselflies are generally smaller, more delicate, and fly weakly in comparison to dragonflies, which have larger bodies and stronger flight capabilities.