Ponmudi hills

1 min read


A team of researchers have discovered a new species of damselfly at the Ponmudi hills in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala.

About Ponmudi hills

  • Ponmudi translates to ‘Golden Hill’ or ‘Golden Peak’ is located in the state of Kerala.
  • It is part of the Western Ghats mountain range that runs parallel to the Arabian Sea and is at an altitude of 1100 metres above sea level. 
  • The hills are a part of the Agasthyamalai landscape, at the southernmost tip of the Western Ghats.
  • These hills are biodiversity-rich, and recently the third species of damselfly discovered from this region.

Key facts about the new species of damselfly

  • It is named Cliffside Bambootail (Phylloneura rupestris).
  • It belongs to a group called bambootails, so named because of their long abdomen that resembles bamboo stalks.
  • It lays eggs in the moss beds in seasonal rills that flow over rock cliffs. 
  • The discovery is significant, because for over 160 years, the genus Phylloneura was considered monotypic, with a single described species, the Myristica Bambootail
    • Myristica Bambootail’s population is associated with myristica swamps, and hence is known by its common name Myristica Bambootail.
    • It has remained the sole described species of the genus Phylloneura and is considered near-threatened as per the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
    • It is endemic to the Western Ghats and has been recorded only in the area between the Nilgiri Hills and Sharavathi Valley, north of the Palghat Gap.

Q1) What is Western Ghats?

It is a mountain range that covers an area of 160,000 sq Km in a stretch of 1,600 Km parallel to the western coast of the Indian peninsula. It traverses through the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Source: New species of damselfly discovered in Kerala’s Ponmudi hills