A groundbreaking discovery has been made by researchers at Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, who have identified a new species of Caddisfly in the region of Jammu & Kashmir.
Caddisflies, crucial to aquatic ecosystems, play a pivotal role in the food chain. Acting as a primary food source for various fish species, they also contribute significantly to water purification by filtering out algae and other potentially harmful organisms.
The newly discovered species has been officially named Rhyacophila masudi sp. nov. in honor of the late Dr. Masud Choudhary, the visionary founder Vice Chancellor of BGSBUs. The decision to incorporate Dr. Choudhary’s name in the species’ etymology reflects his substantial contributions in elevating the university into a center of excellence for teaching and research, as well as his exceptional services to local communities, particularly those residing in the Pirpanjal Range within the Union Territory.
This finding underscores the ecological importance of these insect species, highlighting the ongoing contributions of BGSB University scholars to the field of entomology, as conveyed by the researchers.
The initial sighting of this novel species took place during caddisfly sampling activities across the Indian Himalayas, with the species making its debut in the DKG forest of Buffliaz in the Poonch District. After undergoing rigorous peer review, international acceptance was granted, a decision endorsed by Dr. John C. Morse, Professor Emeritus of Entomology at Clemson University, USA.
This research was presented as part of the 17th International Symposia on Trichoptera held in Lunz Am See, Austria, in September 2022. Dr. Sajad Hussain Parey, an assistant professor at the Department of Zoology in Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, presented the findings alongside other globally recognized entomologists specializing in caddisflies. The work has been published in the esteemed German refereed journal, Contributions to Entomology.
The lead author of this groundbreaking discovery is BGSBU faculty Tabraq Ali, supported by research scholars Zahid Hussain and Aquib Majeed. Co-authors include Dr. Sajad Hussain Parey and Dr. Manpreet Singh Pandher, Scientist-D at High Altitude Regional Centre, Zoological Survey of India.