Macrobrachium prabhakarani, a new species of freshwater shrimp has been identified from Vamanapuram river in south Kerala by the researchers of the Central Agricultural University and Mahatma Gandhi College, Thiruvananthapuram.
The results of the investigations appeared in the October issue of the international journal, Zootaxa.
The discovery of this new species assumes special significance in the current United Nations decade of Global Biodiversity which declares that the ‘Strategic Objective for the decade is supporting the framework for implementation of the Biodiversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets at national, regional and international levels’.
The researchers opined that the biology and suitability of the shrimp as a candidate species for location-specific aquaculture is to be worked out.
The DNA barcode and morphological characters of the species sufficiently ascertain the uniqueness of the species, the genetic code of which has been made available to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, USA.
The species is named after T K Prabhakaran, an ardent naturalist from Thrikkannapuram in Thiruvananthapuram, who assisted researchers and scientists in the collection of specimens. The research on the Palaemonid prawns is being carried out under the leadership of P Madhusoonan Pillai, who is currently the registrar of the Central Agricultural University, under the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India.
V Unnikrishnan is an active researcher and teacher at the Konchira Government School, Vembayam. The same team had discovered a new species Macrobrachium madhusoodani from the Western Ghats region of Ithikkara River in 2011.