These findings have been published as research papers in an internationally reputed journal- Arthropoda Selecta.
A group of naturalists paid a poignant tribute to 26/11 martyr, Tukaram G. Omble, by naming a new spider species after him. This new 'jumping spider' male sex-species, found last year in an urban locality of Thane's Kalyan town, has been named 'Icius Tukarami'. Another previously unknown spider species has been found in Mumbai's Aarey Colony and both these findings have been published as research papers in an internationally reputed journal- Arthropoda Selecta.
Significance of the latest findings
So much nature yet to explore & a good way to pay respect to martyr. A new species of jumping spider is documented… https://t.co/MAYQ3dz8fG— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@Parveen Kaswan, IFS) 1624850902.0
A team of naturalists has discovered two unknown spider species in Maharashtra- Icius Tukarami and Phintella Cholkei. While the former is named after the policeman who played a pivotal role in safeguarding Mumbai citizens during the 26/11 attacks, the latter is named in the memory of Somnath Kumbhar's (team member) friend Kamlesh Cholke, who was a spider-enthusiast himself.
Dhruv Prajapati and Ravi Dutt Kamboj (Gujarat Ecological Education & Research Foundation), Rajesh Sanap and John Caleb (Indian Institute of Ecology and Environment) and Somnath Kumbhar, are the 5 members of the team who have led this discovery. They have jointly published their findings in Arthropoda Selecta, an international journal of repute.
It has been reported that the latest discoveries are significant as these spiders are microhabitat specialists who are sensitive to sudden changes, thereby, they are ideal indicators of the ecosystem function. An integral part of the food web, it has been noted that even minor environmental changes can hit or wipe out their population, hence, they ought to be conserved.
About Tukaram Omble
Omble was a former Indian Army soldier who joined Mumbai Police, post his retirement, and was attached to the D. B. Marg Police Station. He was manning the check-post at Girgaum Chowpatty during the wee hours of November 27 and helped in nabbing one of the culprits. Omble was posthumously conferred with Ashok Chakra in 2009 and declared a 'Martyr'. The move to name a spider species after him and thereby, immortalising the Mumbai 26/11 hero, is being welcomed by netizens.