New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

Phtheirospermum Lushaiorum: Hemiparasite Plant Species named after Lushai Tribe  


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Phtheirospermum Lushaiorum:

Mains level: NA

Why in the News?

  • A rare hemi-parasitic terrestrial plant has been found in Phawngpui National Park of Mizoram.
    • It has been named ‘Phtheirospermum Lushaiorum’ after the Lushai tribe of Mizoram, honoring their commitment to biodiversity conservation.

About  Lushai Tribe

    • Lushai is another tribe under the Kuki-chin group (racially from Mongolia) of tribes.
      • They are commonly known as Mizos.
      • In Tripura there are 5,384 persons (as per 2011 Census).
    • Occupation: They mostly reside in the Jampui Hills area of Tripura and have Jhum Cultivation and hunting of wild animals as their main occupation.
  • Culture and belief:
    • converted to Christianity and still follow Christianity as their religion.
    • Their Cheraw Dance (Bamboo Dance) is quiet famous.

About Phtheirospermum Lushaiorum

  • This plant lacks a fully developed root system and taps into the sap of host plants through specialized structures known as haustoria.
  • Despite its parasitic nature, it contains chlorophyll and can produce its food, showing some independence from its host.
  • It flowers from July to September, with fruit production occurring from August to October.
  • The plant grows near a popular trekking route in Phawngpui National Park, facing threats from both anthropogenic activities and natural factors.

Back2Basics: Phawngpui National Park

    • Also known as Blue Mountain National Park, it is one of the two national parks in Mizoram (the other being Murlen NP).
  • Geographical location:
      • Close to the border with Burma (Myanmar).
      • The park overlooks the Chhimtuipui River, which flows toward Burma.
      • The geography of Phawngpui is characterized by its cloud-covered mountain area, which gives it a distinctive blue appearance from a distance.
  • Flora and Fauna:
      • Bird species:Blyth’s tragopan, falcons, sunbirds, dark-rumped swifts, and the Mizoram state bird, Mrs. Hume’s pheasant.
      • Mammals: Mountain goat, slow loris, tiger, leopard, leopard cat, serow, goral, Asiatic black bear, stump-tailed macaque, and capped langur. 
  • Flora: Grassy meadows, orchids, rhododendrons, and bamboo groves.



[2016] Recently, our scientists have discovered a new and distinct species of banana plant which attains a height of about 11 meters and has orange-coloured fruit pulp. In which part of India has it been discovered?

(a) Andaman Islands

(b) Anaimalai Forests

(c) Maikala Hills

(d) Tropical rain forests of Northeast

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