Dragonfly named in honour of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck
Anew species of dragonfly have been named in honor of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey, Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck as a symbol of appreciation and gratitude for the extraordinary leadership of Bhutan in biodiversity and environmental conservation The English name of the species is Gyalsey Emerald Spreadwing. The emerald refers to its bright green colour 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 expedition in Trongsa District. While Bhutan is internationally 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 undescribed species as large and beautiful as the Gyalsey Emerald Spreadwing is found. The young stages of dragonflies live in the water and they are dependent 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 mountains 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 “Establishment of a knowledge base for invertebrates in Bhutan and the institutional and human capacities” funded by Bhutan Trust Fund for Environment and Conservation (BTFEC). This project is spearheaded and coordinated by the National Biodiversity Centre (NBC), Bhutan in close cooperation with Sherubtse College, College of Natural Resources, Ugyen Wangchuck Institute of Conservation and Environment (UWICE) and the National Plant Protection Center. The Bhutanese scientists work together with scientists from Naturalis, the Biodiversity Center of the Netherlands.
The NBC as the coordinating agency for biodiversity 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