Dragonfly named in honour of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck

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Sonam Peljore

 

Anew species of drag-onfly have been named in honor of

 

His Royal Highness The Gyalsey, Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck as a symbol of appreciation and grati-tude for the extraordinary leadership of Bhutan in biodiversity and environ-mental conservation

 

The English name of the species is Gyalsey Emerald Spreadwing. The emerald refers to its bright green col-our while spreadwing refers

 

to its habit of resting with the wings outspread.

The new species was found in 2015 at a crystal clear brook during a joint Bhutanese-Dutch expedi-tion in Trongsa District. While Bhutan is interna-tionally renowned for its rich biodiversity, it is still home to numerous species that are largely unknown or poorly known. It is however rare that an unde-scribed species as large and beautiful as the Gyalsey Emerald Spreadwing is found. The young stages

 

of dragonflies live in the water and they are depend-ent on good water quality because of which they are often called guardians of watersheds. The new species belongs to a group which is restricted to the moun-tains of Asia. Currently, 113 species of dragonflies are confirmed to be found in Bhutan out of more than 150 estimated species.

 

The field work which led to the discovery of the new species was part of the project for the “Establish-ment of a knowledge base

 

for invertebrates in Bhutan and the institutional and human capacities” funded by Bhutan Trust Fund for Environment and Conser-vation (BTFEC). This project is spearheaded and coor-dinated by the National Biodiversity Centre (NBC), Bhutan in close cooperation with Sherubtse College, Col-lege of Natural Resources, Ugyen Wangchuck Insti-tute of Conservation and Environment (UWICE) and the National Plant Protec-tion Center. The Bhutanese scientists work together with

 

scientists from Naturalis, the Biodiversity Center of the Netherlands.

 

The NBC as the coordi-nating agency for biodi-versity in the country had initiated this project on invertebrates to fill in the biodiversity knowledge gap in the country.

 

The ceremony will be held today coinciding with the First Birth Anniversary of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey at the National Biodiversity Centre in Serbithang

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