CRUSTACEA OF GENUS PARHYALE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     17th February 2024        
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Context: Researchers at Odisha’s Berhampur University have discovered a new species of marine amphipod — a shrimp-like crustacea of genus Parhyale — from the state’s Chilika Lake, Asia’s biggest brackish water lagoon on India’s east coast.

Crustacea of Genus Parhyale

  • About: The new species has been named Parhyale odian after Odisha’s native language, Odia, as the species was collected there
  • Distinctive Characteristics: The new species is brown in color and approximately eight millimeters in length.

oIt possesses 13 pairs of legs, with the first pair utilized for prey capture and feeding, according to Patro.

  • Unique Morphological Feature: Parhyale odian stands out among 15 known species due to the presence of a stout robust seta on the male gnathopod's propodus, distinguishing it from its counterparts.

oHistorical Context: Stebbing first documented the genus Parhyale in 1899, originating from the Virgin Islands. The genus encompasses 15 species globally, inhabiting marine and brackish water environments across various regions.

oParhyale species are cosmopolitan, commonly found in intertidal and littoral areas, often beneath stones with attached vegetation or in

oisopod burrows, as per researchers' observations.

Ecological Significance of Amphipods

  • Amphipods, including Parhyale species, play a crucial role in marine ecosystems, forming a vital component of the marine food chain.
  • They serve as valuable indicators for assessing the impacts of climate change and monitoring the health of coastal ecosystems.
  • Ongoing research aims to elucidate the specific ecological roles of amphipods in both coastal and marine environments, contributing to a deeper understanding of their ecological significance.

Chilika Lakes

  • About: Asia's largest brackish water lagoon, Chilika is located in Odisha, India, at the Bay of Bengal's mouth where the Daya River flows.
  • As the largest coastal lagoon in India and the world's second-largest, Chilika was declared a Ramsar site in 1981, reflecting its significance for biodiversity and socio-economic factors.
  • Chilika became the first Indian waterbody to be recognized as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
  • Kalijai Temple - Located on an island in the Chilika Lake.
  • Migratory Birds: Amur Falcons, Bar-headed Geese, Black-necked cranes, Marine turtles, Dugongs, Humpback Whales, etc.
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