Shillong, January 31 : A team of researchers from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Kolkata, have recently discovered a new species of jumping spider from the tea estate of Meghalaya. The new species Phintella handersoni is described from the Anderson Tea Estate, situated in Umran Dai, Ri-Bhoi district, Meghalaya, and it has been named in honour of the late Handerson ry Syiemlieh, owner of the tea estate.
The genus Phintella, are small to medium-sized spiders characterized by their vivid colours and adorned with metallic iridescent scales. The species typically exhibits a rounded or oval head with a distinct posterior slope, while the abdomen is ovoid or elongated, showing light and dark horizontal bands.
The team of researchers was led by Dr. Souvik Sen, Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Kolkata. Dr. Sudhin P. P., from ZSI, Kolkata, and Dr. John T. D. Caleb from Saveetha University, Chennai also participated in this study.
The discovery of the new spider species from Meghalaya has beenpublished in the recent issue i.e 100(1) of the reputed international journal `Zoosystematics and Evolution’. Dr Dhriti Banerjee, Director, ZSI pointed out that spider play a vital role as natural enemy in tea ecosystem and conservation of natural enemies is an important practice under non-conventional pest management practices. The children and grandchildren of late Handerson Syiemlieh were very much excited about this discovery and appreciated the efforts of the ZSI team led by Dr. Sen. They are hopeful of further discoveries from the unexplored hills of Meghalaya.