Students of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University Delhi have discovered a new species of spider in Delhi's Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary. A team of students, led by a professor of an institute affiliated to the university, have named the arthropoda Stenaelurillus Jagannathae after Lord Jagannath.
Why? Because the unique patterns on the creature resemble the Hindu god , as reported by The Statesman .
(L-R) female and male spider | Source: Wise Snakes
"We particularly noticed this spider due to its unique colour pattern, three white spots on the abdomen and several white lines. Amusingly, it resembled Lord Jagannath's face and hence we named it after the deity. It has been recorded as Stenaelurillus Jagannathae in the World Spider Catalogue," said assistant Professor, Sanjay Keshri Das, of the School of Environmental Management.
The Indian Express mentioned in its report that the research work of the students was published in the International Journal of Science and Research. The work was endorsed by the World Spider Catalog (WSC), which is reportedly only maintained by the Natural History of Museum in Bern, Switzerland.
Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary | Source: delhigov.in
“By virtue of lying on the foot of the Aravalli hills, Asola Bhatti Sanctuary has a unique biodiversity. This spider, Stenaelurillus Jagannathae, is one of them. We found it inhabiting leaf litter and decaying logs throughout the sanctuary, it is amazing how it went unnoticed for this long,” said Bhoopender Prasad Vidhel, a student of the University.
The male version of Jagannathae is 3.75 mm long while the female is nearly 6.5 mm.
"In this age of global warming and climate change, when extinction of species is at its peak, the discovery of a new spider species in urban Delhi is fascinating. It proves that there is an urgent need to document biodiversity in every area before they vanish, for which the study of taxonomy as a discipline is critical,” Das told to The Indian Express .