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Discovery of Melanochlamys Droupadi

Context:

The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has identified a novel marine species of head-shield sea slug.

Relevance:

GS III: Species in News

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Discovery of Melanochlamys droupadi: A New Marine Species

Discovery of Melanochlamys droupadi: A New Marine Species

  • The species, named Melanochlamys droupadi, was discovered along the coasts of West Bengal and Odisha.

Morphological Characteristics of Melanochlamys Species:

  • Genus Melanochlamys exhibits distinctive features, including a short, blunt, and cylindrical body.
  • The dorsal surface features two shields, namely the anterior cephalic and posterior shield.

Unique Attributes of Melanochlamys droupadi:

  • The species is small, brownish-black, with a distinct ruby red spot at the hind end.
  • It is classified as a hermaphrodite.
  • Reproduction occurs in the period between November and January.

Defensive Mechanism:

  • Melanochlamys droupadi secretes transparent mucus, serving as a shield against sand grains while navigating beneath smooth sand.
  • This defensive mechanism renders its body seldom visible.

Geographic Distribution:

  • While species within this group are typically found in temperate regions of the Indo-Pacific Oceanic realm, Melanochlamys droupadi is among the three truly tropical species.
  • Other tropical counterparts include Melanochlamys papillata from the Gulf of Thailand and Melanochlamys bengalensis from the coasts of West Bengal and Odisha.

-Source: The Hindu


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