Ocean On a Plate : Developing a Responsible Seafood Culture in a Landlocked City - The Case of Bengaluru
A landlocked city like Bengaluru generates a surprisingly high demand for seafood. There is a smorgasbord of options available at a consumer's disposal- from large fish markets, small-scale retailers and online stories. Where does Bengaluru, which is a few hundred kilometers from either coast, source seafood? How does it vary across seasons? How do we create responsible recommendations based on fish breeding seasonality and collateral damage to consumers located so far from the source of their seafood? These are questions we will be exploring over the next one year in collaboration with Know Your Fish.
The cultural perceptions of spiders through time
We're currently working on understanding how spiders were perceived by humans through history and what it looks like today.
As a group that has been on earth for well over 300 million years, spiders are mind-boggling in their diversity and adaptations. Early human civilizations appeared to have a deep-rooted respect for spiders. However, over the past century, fear and disgust seem to be commonly associated with spiders.
We're keen on understanding how this perception evolved over the millenia.
Notes on broodcare by the jumping spider genus Hindumanes and its updated distribution
In 2018, we observed and photographed a female jumping spider in the genus Hindumanes guarding her egg sac on the underside of a large Colocasia esculenta leaf. We found that the genus of spider and its egg sac structure bear a striking resemblance to the neotropical genus Lyssomanes. The sparse egg sac of Lyssomanes was found to leverage volatile antimicrobial compounds of the leaf substrate to protect its eggs from microbial infection. We hypothesize that the sparse egg sac structure of the Hindumanes on a C. esculenta leaf (known to release volatile antimicrobial compounds) could suggest a similar immunological dependence by the Hindumanes genus.
Myrmecophily and kleptoparasitism of Oecophylla smaragdina) by Cosmophasis cf. bitaeniata in the Andaman Islands
This paper documents the behaviour of an unidentified jumping spider in the genus Cosmophasis (C. cf. bitaeniata) observed near leaf structures of the weaver ant Oecophylla smaragdina. Like C. bitaeniata, this spider appears to be a parasitic myrmecophile of O. smaragdina and it may use chemical mimicry to gain access to the pavilions of the host ant. Whether this Cosmophasis is a close relative or a subspecies of C. bitaeniata remains to be determined.
Hunting and brooding behaviour in Phaeacius sp.
This paper documents the first record of Phaeacius (Simon 1900) from the Andaman Islands, as well as observations of their behaviour in nature over a period of two months. Observations included predation and feeding on both ants (Technomyrmex albipes) and a salticid ant mimic (Myrmarachne plataleoides), and the maintenance of long, vertical silk lines above an attended egg-sac covered with debris.
Spiders of Kalpavalli
Spiders are crucial to the functioning of most ecosystems around us. Understanding the diversity of spiders often provides insight into these systems at large. Very little has been documented on the spiders of the Anantpur district. We conducted a 7-day survey of the spiders in this region to understand the diverse speices that inhabit the Kalpavalli Community Conservation Area