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New marine species named after President Draupadi Murmu

Utkarsh Classes 04-03-2024
New marine species named after President Draupadi Murmu Science and Technology 5 min read

In February 2024, the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) discovered a new variety of sea slug mollusk off the coasts of Odisha and Bengal. It is named after the President Droupadi Murmu. This species mainly lives in marine habitats.

Naming the new sea slug mollusk:

  • ZSI researchers have christened this sea slug 'Melanochlamys Droupadi'.
  • This species from the Melanochlamys genus was discovered from the Digha (West Bengal coast) and Udaipur (Odisha coast).

The newly discovered species is found only in India:

  • This recently identified species of head-shield sea slug is unique to India and is not present in any other part of the world.
  • This is the 2nd species of head-shield sea slug found in India.
  • The first species is Melanochlamys Bengalensis of the West Bengal and Odisha coast. Melanochlamy Benghalensis was found along the coast from Digha and Dhamra in the year 2022.

About Head-Shield Sea Slug ‘Melanochlamys Droupadi’:

  • It is a small, hermaphroditic invertebrate.
  • Its maximum length is up to 7 mm.
  • Their breeding season is from November to January. Its body is covered by a shell.
  • It is brownish black in color and has a ruby red spot on its back.
  • Its hind shield is long (about 61 percent of the body length).
  • This species inhabits wet and soft sandy beaches, isolated from other species.
  • It usually crawls into the intertidal zone of a sandy beach and leaves behind a crawling mark.
  • The habitat of Melanochlamys draupadi is similar to that of Melanochlamys Bengalensis.
  • Melanochlamy Benghalensis was discovered off the coast of Digha and Dhamra in 2022.
  • Living Melanochlamys drupe animals continuously secrete transparent mucus to form a covering.
  • This prevents sand particles from entering the parapodial space.

About Sea Slug:

  • This name is given to marine creatures of different families of the phylum Mollusca. Mainly among these are the following:
    • Sea hares of Aplysiomorpha
    • Headshield Slugs of Cephalospidea
    • Pelagic sea butterflies
    • Sap-sucking sacoglossans
  • Mud slugs are soft-bodied, without shells. They are fast hunters.
  • They play the role of secondary consumers in the marine ecosystem.
  • They prey on small animals such as ribbon worms, sea worms and small fish.
  • 18 species of these have been discovered around the world.
  • Most of the species in this group are found in temperate regions of the Indo-Pacific oceanic region;
  • Its 15 species have been found in temperate regions.
  • Its three species are found only in tropical regions.
    • Melanochlamys papillata in the Gulf of Thailand
    • Melanochlamys Bengalensis on the West Bengal and Odisha coast
    • Melanochlamys Draupadi

About Zoological Survey of India (ZSI):

  • ZSI was established on July 1, 1916.
  • It originated from the Zoological Section of the Indian Museum established in Calcutta in 1875.
  • The objective of its establishment is to promote survey, exploration and research regarding various aspects of living beings.
  • Initially ZSI had eight regional centers across India. Presently, there are 16 regional centers located throughout the country.
  • Its headquarters is in Kolkata.

About Droupadi Murmu:

  • The President Droupadi Murmu is India's 15th President. Droupadi Murmu is the first tribal and second woman President of India.
  • Droupadi Murmu belongs to the Santhal tribal community of Mayurbhaj, Odisha.
  • Droupadi Murmu was the Governor of Jharkhand.


Answer: On the sea coast of Odisha and West Bengal.

Answer: The new marine species was named after President Droupadi Murmu.

Answer: Melanochlamys Droupadi

Answer: Discovered in Digha of West Bengal coast and Udaipur of Odisha coast.
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