Two new species of jumping spiders have been discovered from the Thane-Kalyan region of Maharashtra. The scientists honoured the sacrifice of one of the hero cops of the 26/11 terror attacks, Tukaram Omble, and named one of the spider species after him. The species is called ‘Icius Tukarami.’ The discoveries published in a Russian scientific journal, Arthropoda Selecta states, “The specific epithet is dedicated to a hero of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, ASI Tukaram Omble AC, who took 23 bullets and captured the terrorist of the attack.” The scientific paper was published by Dhruv Prajapati, Somnath Kumbhar, Jhon Caleb, Rajesh Sanap, and Ravi D Kamboj. One of the researchers, who published the paper, shared the news via Twitter.
1/2Join me to introduce 2 new species of jumping spiders from Maharastra, India!One species is dedicated to ASI Tukaram Omble, who coughed terrorist Kasab alive and took 23 bullets.Presenting Icius tukarami from Thane, Maharashtra.@MumbaiPolice @arunbothra @ipskabra @IndiAves pic.twitter.com/CmirKBbmcL— Dhruv Prajapati (@Dhruv_spidy) June 27, 2021
The species Icius Tukarami is recorded in urbanized habitat in Kalyan, Thane. The species is characterised by a pair of white longitudinal stripes on the body and the unique shape of the tibial apophysis.
Assistant Police Sub Inspector (ASI) Tukaram was a part of the team guarding a checkpoint in Mumbai when two terrorists including Ajmal Kasab approached them in a hijacked car. Following an initial shootout, one of the terrorists was killed Kasab, who pretended to surrender, initiated a round of fire from Ak-47. Tukaram stood brave by capturing the terrorist with several bullets, pierced his flesh before he grabbed the barrel of his gun. His ultimate act of bravery helped the team capture Kasab alive, but he succumbed to injuries. Tukaram was awarded India’s highest peacetime gallantry award Ashoka Chakra for his bravery.
While another jumping spider species were found from the Aarey Colony of Thane. It has been named Phintella Cholkei after an avid spider researcher and naturalist, Kamlesh Cholkhe who passed away last year. This species has a unique body pattern and genital organs, unlike other spiders.