A new species of endemic honeybee has been discovered in the Western Ghats. The finding has been published in the September issue of Entomon, a peer-reviewed journal brought out by the Association for Advancement of Entomology.
- The new species has been named Apis karinjodian and given the common name Indian black honeybee.
- It is after a gap of more than 200 years that a new species of honeybee has been spotted in the Western Ghats.
- The last honeybee described from India was Apis indica in 1798 by Fabricius. Although Fabricius named the Indian bee Apis indica, it was not considered a valid species till now.
- The research team restored the status of Apis indica based on a new measure for species discrimination in honeybees termed ‘Radio-Medial Index (RMI)’.
- While proving the distinct identity of Apis indica, led to the discovery of Apis karinjodian.
- Apis karinjodian has evolved from Apis cerana morphotypes that got acclimatised to the hot and humid environment of the Western Ghats.
- The distribution of Apis karinjodian ranges from the central Western Ghats and Nilgiris to the southern Western Ghats, covering the States of Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.