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New spider species named after 26/11 martyr who caught Pakistani terrorist

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As a poignant gesture, a group of naturalists have named a new spider species discovered in Kalyan, Thane, in memory of the 26/11 Martyr, Tukaram G Omble. He helped nab Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab alive during the 26/11 terror strikes in Mumbai.

The new ‘jumping spider’ male sex-species, found last year in an urban locality of Kalyan town, has been christened as “Icius Tukarami”, said Ahmedabad-based photographer and wildlife enthusiast Dhruv Prajapati.

Simultaneously,a different group comprising of Rajesh Sanap, Somnath Kumbhar and John Caleb discovered another unknown spider species distributed in Aarey Colony, Mumbai and also 50 kms away in Kalyan, having named it as “Phintella Cholkei”, in 2017 and 2019, respectively.

“This is in memory of Kumbhar’s friend, Kamlesh Cholke who used to collect and provide us with different species of spiders. It has a unique body pattern and genital organs not seen in other spiders,” said Sanap.

Indian martyr is honoured through new spider species discovery
Indian martyr is honoured through new spider species discovery. Source: Canva

The latest finds have been described and published in a research paper published in an internationally reputed journal: “Arthropoda Selecta”, jointly by Prajapati and Ravi Dutt Kamboj (both of Gujarat Ecological Education & Research Foundation), Sanap and Caleb (of Indian Institute of Ecology & Environment) and Kumbhar who meticulously collected both the species from the wild.

On the move to name the species after the Mumbai 26/11 hero, Prajapati said that he was deeply impressed by the extraordinary valour and bravery in the line of duty displayed by Omble when south Mumbai was under a 60-hour siege during November 26th-28th, 2008.

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