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  • Sci. & Tech.
    Researchers discover new species of legless amphibian

    New Delhi (PTI): Zoologists claimed to have discovered a new species of legless amphibian in northern Karnataka which vacates its marshy habitat at the slightest hint of pollution.

    Two independent researchers who teamed up with scientists from the Zoological Survey of India came across the unique species at the Mahadayi Wildlife Sanctuary which falls in the biodiversity-rich Western Ghats region.

    "It is commonly known as a two-headed snake but a closer look brings out the ringed nature of the amphibian creature," Gopalkrishna Bhatta, an independent researcher, told PTI from Shimoga in Karnataka.

    Besides Bhatta, K P Dinesh of the Zoological Survey of India, P Prashanth of the Agumbe Rain forest Research Station and another independent researcher Goa-based Nirmal Kulkarni took part in the study.

    "We recently collected three specimens resembling each other which fit the generic diagnosis for genus Gegeneophis, but which differ from all known species," they said in a research communication published in today's issue of "Current Science".

    A new species of caecilian, a legless amphibian, has been named Gegeneophis mhadeiensis. It is described on the basis of three specimens collected from the surroundings of Rameshwar temple in Chorla village of Belgaum district. The locality is situated adjacent to the Mahadayi Wildlife Sanctuary.

    The creature feeds in earthworms and other decaying material and helps enriching the soil, Bhatta said.


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