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Armageddon Reedtail

In recent news, a groundbreaking discovery has come to light – the identification of a new damselfly species, Protosticta armageddonia. This discovery not only introduces us to a previously unknown inhabitant of our world but also underscores the critical issue of global insect population decline.

This topic of “Armageddon Reedtail” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

New Species Discovered

What is Protosticta armageddonia?

  • Protosticta armageddonia: The newfound species of damselfly.
  • Characteristics:
    • Body attributes: It boasts a dark brown to black body, vibrant greenish-blue eyes, and an intriguing feature of eight abdominal segments, with half adorned with pale blue markings.
    • Habitat: This species thrives in primary montane streams, particularly under the shelter of dense canopy cover.

Significance of the Discovery

Purpose of Naming

  • The species is aptly named to draw attention to the critical issue of global insect decline.

Decline Termed as the “Insect Apocalypse”

  • The worldwide decline in insect populations is often referred to as the “Insect Apocalypse.”

Reasons for the Decline

  • The decline of insects is attributed to several factors, including:
    • Rampant habitat loss,
    • Pesticide pollution,
    • Harmful emissions,
    • The adverse effects of climate change.

Impact

  • The potential consequences are dire, with projections suggesting that over 40% of insect species are at risk of extinction in the upcoming decades.
  • Among the most severely affected insects are butterflies, bees, and dung beetles.

Extinction Rate Comparison

  • Insects are facing an alarming extinction rate of 2.5% per year, which is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds, and reptiles.

Possible Outcome

  • If these trends continue, insects could vanish from our ecosystems within a century.

Importance of Insects

  • Insects are among the most diverse and abundant animals on Earth, playing a vital role in various ecosystems.

Where was Protosticta armageddonia Found?

  • This remarkable discovery was made in the southern Western Ghats of Kerala, India.

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