IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


9th October, 2023 Environment

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Picture Courtesy: THE HINDU

Context: A new dragonfly species named Red-rumped Hawklet (Epithemis wayanadensis) has been discovered in Wayanad, located in the Western Ghats.


  • DNA analysis was conducted to validate the discovery. A significant 12% genetic difference was observed, confirming the distinctiveness of this species. This is the first instance of an Indian dragonfly being documented with genetic evidence supporting morphological differences.

About Red-rumped Hawklet

  • The Red-rumped Hawklet is characterized by its darker pigmentation, restricted red colouration on the abdomen, and the absence of the yellow antehumeral stripe, which distinguishes it from similar species like E. mariae.
  • This new species is profoundly seasonal, taking flight exclusively during the month of October. By early November, it disappears and spends the rest of the year in the aquatic larval stage.
  • The Red-rumped Hawklet was found in shrubs along a shaded streamside marsh in Wayanad's forested terrain, as well as parts of the Nilgiri Coorg landscapes within the Western Ghats.


  • This discovery suggests the possibility of other undiscovered species within the same landscape, highlighting the biodiversity of the region and the need for further exploration and conservation efforts.


Q. What are the key factors contributing to the remarkable biodiversity of the Western Ghats, and why is the preservation of this biodiversity important for both local ecosystems and global environmental balance?