Marine Scientists from the ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR), have discovered a new species of shrimp, which has been named Actinimenes koyas.
The species was collected at a depth of 1.0–2.0 m from the coral atoll of Agatti Island, which is part of the Lakshadweep group of islands, by a team comprising Purushothaman Paramasivam, A. Dhinakaran, T.T. Ajith Kumar and Kuldeep K. Lal.
This new species has been named ‘Koyas’ to honour the local community on the Lakshadweep islands as Koyas form an important ethnic community on the islands, who have made a significant contribution to the development and preservation of the heritage of the society.
The newly discovered species is closely related to some other shrimp species in morphological traits. The new species is easily distinguished from the other species by the structural variation in the fourth sternal plate with a median notch.
NBFGR has been conducting many exploratory surveys off the Lakshadweep islands with special focus on fish and shrimp species. The studies have revealed great diversity of symbiotic communities, which mostly comprise colourful and undescribed shrimp species.
In the meanwhile, the Institute has taken up capacity building programmes for the sustainable utilisation of the native germplasm for livelihood upliftment of the local people. NBFGR is also attempting to document the biodiversity of shallow water organisms in the waters off different Lakshadweep islands.
NBFGR sources said reef-associated living fauna in these regions were important components of the marine biodiversity, which is home to a great variety of underwater habitats.