Volume 21, Issue 1, 2021 January-March

Volume 21, No 1 Pages:
2021 January-March Articles: 5

On the definition, status of research, diversity and prospect of exploration of the Genus Garra (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae) from Mizoram, Northeast India

The cyprinid genus Garra includes small to medium-sized, benthic fish species that are usually found in fast-flowing rivers and streams. Fish of this genus have a modified lower lip forming a mental adhesive disc and horizontally placed pectoral and pelvic fins with a flat ventral profile. The genus Garra is vast and wide with each species exhibiting various differences at the morphological and molecular level. Reports on the exploration and investigation of the genus in Mizoram are few and those that are reported need certain validation and clarifications. Re-collection and elaborated review of this genus are obligatory. Therefore, meticulous analysis of these freshwater fish using morphological as well as molecular methods is required to validate previous findings. Furthermore, the review paper will shed a light on the diagnosis of the fish, status of research, and research prospects in Mizoram.

A review of the diversity of aquatic avifauna in Mizoram, India

Aquatic avifauna are an important bio-indicator of an ecosystem changes. Mizoram, one of the north-eastern states of India, lies in one of the richest biodiversity hotspots of the world. Along its water bodies, it is home to several species of resident birds, and is also a temporary home for migrating birds in different seasons. These resident and migratory avifauna form an important component of most wetland ecosystems, as they are vital components of the food webs. While only the Tamdil and Palak Lake are recognized as wetlands, there are several rivers and smaller water bodies around which aquatic avifauna exist. However, official records comprise of about 14 species of waterbirds belonging to 6 orders and 8 families. Of these, Anatidae, Charadriidae, Scolopacidae, Anhingidae, and Podicipedidae are represented by one species each, while the Ardeidae are represented by four species. Among the 14 species reported so far, two species of the Order Pelicaniformes, namely Anhinga melanogaster (Family Anhingidae) and Ardea insignis (Family Ardeidae) are highly endangered. However, detailed studies are wanting and, while there are sporadic reports of sightings on social media, there is a need for a more comprehensive study of the diversity and seasonal variations of aquatic avifauna around the different water bodies of the state of Mizoram.

Spinodal and thermodynamic limit of superheat of gold

A four-parameter generalized Berthelot equation of state has been employed to determine the spinodal and the thermodynamic limit of superheat of liquid gold. It is established that gold obeys the two-parameter law of corresponding states. It is also established that the new parameters introduced in the attractive term of the equation of state are thermodynamic similarity parameters. It is shown that liquid gold can be superheated to a temperature 6719K. That is, liquid gold, under rapid heating, can be superheated to temperature 3476K above the boiling temperature without undergoing liquid-vapour phase transition. Above this temperature, liquid gold will undergo explosive boiling owing to homogeneous nucleation.

The status of Elateridae (Coleoptera) in India

Beetles are a group of insects that form the order Coleoptera, in the superorder Endopterygota. It is estimated that a quarter of all described species in the world belongs to this order. The family Elateridae or click beetles is the ninth-largest family under this order. Wireworms are the larval stage of this family and they play a role in the ecosystem as they are omnivorous and act as pests. There are over 800 species of elaterids recorded from the Indian Subcontinent under eight subfamilies. India is rich in floral and faunal diversity and insect diversity in particular constitute about 6% of all identified insects in the world with a large number being endemic species. But in contrast to its extreme species richness, there is comparatively very little knowledge about this family of beetles when compared to other families. And as such, there is still a lot of potential to study its ecology and diversity. It is also because of this same reason that review of the status of the elaterid family is being done as a prequel to the actual field study.

Begonia roxburghii: A potentially important medicinal plant

Begonia roxburghii is an annual dicot plant of the family Begoniaceae and is found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. They are monoecious (has both male and female organs) and they are generally self-pollinated. Its parts are variously used in traditional practice for different health benefits. The stem is a nutritious snack, the juice is antihaemorrhoid and antiinfectious agent. It is used for the treatment of bee sting, skin infection, dysentery, diarrhoea, gastric ulcer, oral infection, jaundice and diabetes mellitus. It is chemically rich in flavonoids, alkaloids, glycosides, tannins, saponins, reducing sugars, steroids, resins, carbohydrates and phenols. It is shown to have high antioxidant activity as well as antimicrobial activity. However, little is known about the actual bioactive components and their effects on various health conditions related to its medicinal applications. This plant, therefore, has a potential for medicinal value for a wide array of diseases and clinical conditions, and would be worth systematic chemical and pharmacological characterizations.