International Edu News: Meet Gitanjali Rao, TIME's First-Ever Kid of The Year 2020  |  Cover Story: Lead us to the Right Test  |  Parent Interventions: Diagnosis and management of food allergies in children  |  Science Innovations: How Emotions Are Generated in Our Brain  |  Science Innovations: Primate Eye Functions Like a Digital Camera  |  Best Practices: IIT, NITs, Engineering Colleges to Adopt National Highway on Voluntary Basis  |  National Edu News: New Campus of National Institute of Naturopathy in Pune to be named 'Nisarg Gram  |  Best Practices: The Gender Voice Lab  |  International Edu News: Macquarie Launches MindSpot Academy for Digital Mental Health Services  |  Guest Column: Edtech Drives Innovation in School Education  |  Leadership Instincts: Peking University co-initiates Observatory of Higher Education Transformations   |  Technology Inceptions: New tool to check for data leakage from AI systems  |  Education Information: New partnership to create apps to learn social and emotional intelligence  |  Leadership Instincts: Peter Russell to lead SIGS Institute of Future Human Habitats  |  Policy Indications: A task force to impart technical education in Mother Tongue  |  
November 19, 2020 Thursday 10:04:54 AM IST

The chirp of the crickets may soon be their species’ I-cards

National Edu News

The chirp of the cricket may soon be used to monitor their species diversity. Scientists are establishing an acoustic signal library that can help track the diversity of these insects. Morphology-based traditional taxonomy has gone a long way to recognise and establish species diversity. But it is often not sufficient in delimiting cryptic species-- a group of two or more morphologically indistinguishable species (hidden under one species) or individuals of the same species expressing diverse morphological features (which are often classified into multiple species). Therefore, identification solely based on morphological features leads to underestimation or overestimation of species diversity.

In order to overcome this challenge, Dr. Ranjana Jaiswara, a Department of Science and Technology (DST) Inspire Faculty Fellow at the Department of Zoology, Panjab University, is working to establish a field crickets acoustic-signal library which can be used as a non-invasive tool in species diversity estimation and monitoring. The library will be a digital ones and can be used through mobile phone application for automated species recognition and discovery as well as documentation of new species of crickets from India.

Dr. Jaiswara’s research as a DST-INSPIRE Faculty addresses the problem of cryptic species by using advanced tools in an integrative frame in delineating species boundaries.


Field crickets are one of the most commonly used model organisms in the field of neuroethology, behavioural ecology, experimental biology, and acoustics because of their unique ability to produce loud acoustic signal by rubbing of highly specialised forewings against each other.

Dr Jaiswara has documented that the issue of cryptic species can be addressed economically with the basic skill of bioacoustic signal and statistical analyses. These integrative approach-based studies have led to the discovery of several cryptic and new species of crickets from India, Brazil, Peru and South-Africa.


These tools include acoustic signals, DNA sequences, and phonotactic behavioural data in studying species diversity. She uses field crickets as the model organism. In her research published in Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, she has shown that species-specific bioacoustics signals are a highly efficient and reliable tool in marking species boundaries and it can be used to get an accurate estimate of species richness and diversity estimate of any geographical area.

Dr Jaiswara plans to build a phylogenetic relationship and understand evolutionary relationships among approximately 140 species of field crickets known from India. This study will provide an evolutionary frame structure to the scientific community at a global level.



Comments