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Steriphopus wangala

29th June, 2024 Environment

Steriphopus wangala

Source: East Mojo

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  • Gautam Kadam and Rishikesh Tripathi discovered a new spider species, Steriphopus wangala, in Meghalaya's West Garo Hills, named after the Garo community's Wangala Festival. The finding emphasizes the importance of studying ground-dwelling spiders.


Key Points

  • Biodiversity and Environment:
    • Discovery of new species emphasizes the importance of biodiversity.
    • Significance of ground-dwelling spiders in the ecosystem.
    • Threats to species due to human activities like Jhum cultivation and road construction.
  • Science and Technology in Conservation:
    • Role of taxonomy in identifying new species.
    • Importance of ecological studies in conservation efforts.
  • Cultural Heritage:
    • Integration of local cultural festivals in naming new species.
    • Importance of preserving cultural heritage alongside natural heritage.
  • Geography:
    • Location and significance of Meghalaya, particularly the Garo Hills.

Features of the Steriphopus wangala:

  • Family:
    • Palpimanidae (Palp-Footed Spiders).
  • Distinctive Features:
    • Reddish-brown colour, powerful and heavily sclerotized first pair of legs.
  • Habitat:
    • Ground-dwelling, found in human settlements in West Garo Hills, Meghalaya.
  • Taxonomy:
    • Confirmed as a new species in the Steriphopus genus, now having five species globally, with two in India.

About Wangala Festival:

  • Community:
    • Celebrated by the Garo community.
  • Location:
  • Significance:
    • Harvest festival honouring Saljong, the Sun God of fertility.
  • Ceremonies:
    • "Ragula" on the first day, "Kakkat" on the second day.
  • Celebrations:
    • Colourful costumes, feathered headgears, traditional dances, and music involving drums, gongs, and buffalo horn flutes.
  • Cultural Impact:
    • Reflects the community's connection to their agricultural roots and natural environment.


East Mojo


Q. Consider the following statements regarding Steriphopus wangala:

1.The spider belongs to the Palpimanidae family.

2.It was discovered in the Thar Desert.

3.The species was named after a traditional harvest festival.

Which of the above statement/s is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (c)