1. DUNG BEETLE
What’s in news?
A new species of dung beetle has been discovered in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
- The species, Enoplotrupes Tawangensis, is shining dark blue in colour and, measuring up to 27 mm, is relatively bigger than most of the dung beetles.
- The specimens were first collected and studied by two scientists from the Zoological Survey of India and were published in an international peer-reviewed journal Oriental Insects on May 29, 2019.
- New find is bigger in size than one discovered in 2016, also in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Dung beetles belong to the super family scarabaeoidea, having clubbed antennae and pro-tibiae (pro-legs) modified for burrowing dung inside the soil.
- This group of insects are considered beneficial to the environment as they help in nutrient cycling of the soil.
- Insects comprise almost 65% of all animal species on the planet.
- From India, approximately 65,000 species of insects are known, of them, more than 22,000 species are beetles.
- Dung beetles are the one of the fascinating group of insects because of their ability to bury dung deep in the soil and are indicators of the ecological health of an ecosystem.
- Other than the relatively large size and distinct blue colour, another important distinguishing characteristic of this species is the strong sexual dimorphism, with the fronto-clypeal horn shorter in females than males.
- Three more species of dung beetles from the group Geotrupidae, which roughly means earth borers, were discovered by the same set of scientists in the past three years.
2. ROSE-INSPIRED NOVEL DEVICE TO COLLECT, PURIFY WATER
What’s in the news?
- In a recent development, scientists have taken inspiration from roses to develop a low-cost device for collecting and purifying water.
- The team developed a new approach to solar steaming for water production that uses energy from sunlight to separate salt and other impurities from water through evaporation.
- In a study published in Advanced Materials, they outline how an origami rose provided the inspiration for developing a new kind of solar-steaming system made from layered, black paper sheets shaped into petals.
- Water finds its way to the petals where the polypyrrole material coating on the flower turns the water into steam.
- Impurities naturally separate when condensed in this way