New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

Animal Discoveries 2020 report by ZSI


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Species mentioned

Mains level: Not Much

India has added 557 new species to its fauna reveals Animal Discoveries 2020, a document published recently by the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI).

Major species discovered

The number of faunal species in India has climbed to 1,02,718 species. Among the new species, some interesting species discovered in 2020 are:

  • Trimeresurus salazar, a new species of green pit viper discovered from Arunachal Pradesh;
  • Lycodon deccanensis, the Deccan wolf snake discovered from Karnataka; and
  • Sphaerotheca Bengaluru, a new species of burrowing frog named after the city of Bengaluru.
  • Xyrias anjaalai, a new deep-water species of snake eel from Kerala;
  • Glyptothorax giudikyensis, a new species of catfish from Manipur; and
  • Clyster galateansis, a new species of scarab beetles from the Great Nicobar Biosphere.

Visitor species

  • Myotis cf. frater, a bat species earlier known from China, Taiwan and Russia, has been reported for the first time from Uttarakhand in India
  • Zoothera citrina gibsonhilli, an orange-headed thrush earlier known from southern Myanmar to south Thailand (central Malay peninsula) was reported for the first time from India based on a collection made from the Narcondam island in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.


  • The ZSI publication shows that India is a mega biodiverse country, rich in biodiversity, with 23.39% of its geographical area under forest and tree cover.
  • India is positioned 8th in mega biodiversity countries in the world with 0.46 BioD index which is calculated by its percentage of species in each group relative to the total global number of species in each group.

About Zoological Survey of India

  • The ZSI was set up by British zoologist Thomas Nelson Annandale, in 1916.
  • It is the premier taxonomic research organization in India.
  • It was established to promote surveys, exploration and research leading to advancement of our knowledge of various aspects of the exceptionally rich animal life of India.
  • The ZSI had its genesis as the Zoological Section of the Indian Museum at Calcutta in 1875.
  • Since its inception, the ZSI has been documenting the diversity and distribution of the fauna of India towards carrying out its mandate of conducting exploration-cum-taxonomic-research programmes.
  • The ZSI has published an extremely large amount of information on all animal taxa, from Protozoa to Mammalia.

Try answering this PYQ:

Q.With reference to India’s Biodiversity, Ceylon frogmouth, Coppersmith barbet, Gray-chinned minivet and White-throated redstart are: (CSP 2020)

(a) Birds

(b) Primates

(c) Reptiles

(d) Amphibians


Post your answers here
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