Pancorius sebastiani

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Recently, researchers discovered a new species of jumping spider from the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary.

About Pancorius sebastiani

  • The new species belongs to the jumping spider genus Pancorius Simon, 1902, and Salticidae family,
  • It has been named Pancorius sebastiani after the late spider taxonomist P.A. Sebastian.
  • The Pancorius genus of Asian jumping spiders is primarily distributed in southeast Asia.
  • Its distribution was hitherto limited to the east and northeastern regions in India.
  • The new species is the first to be reported from the south.
  • Features
    • The males and the females of Pancorius sebastiani exhibit reddish brown carapace, yellowish abdomen with black patches and chevron-shaped markings posteromedially.
    • An analysis of Salticidae species in the country shows that only two States, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, have reported high numbers, while the others including those harbouring biodiversity hotspots like the Western Ghats and northeastern India have relatively few numbers of species.

Key facts about the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary

  • It is a protected area located in the Western Ghats of India, in the Kollam district of Kerala.
  • This Sanctuary derives its name from Chenkurinji (Gluta travancorica), a species endemic to this region.
  • It comes under the control of Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve.
  • Flora: Tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forests cover a major area of the sanctuary.
  • Fauna: Includes tigers, gaurs, elephants, sambar deers, sloth bears, Malabar Raven, Malabar banded swallowtail, Red-disc Bushbrown, etc

Q1) Where is Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve?

It is also known as the Agasthyakoodam Biosphere Reserve, is a UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve located in the southern part of the Western Ghats in India. It is situated in the Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The biosphere reserve is named after Agastya Mala, which is a prominent peak in the region and is considered to be the abode of the sage Agastya, a revered figure in Hindu mythology

Source: Western Ghats throws up a new species of jumping spiders