Published on: October 4, 2023

New pangolin species

New pangolin species

Why in news? Chinese researchers have discovered a new pangolin species based on genomic data collected from pangolin scales.


  • The new pangolin species has been named Manis mysteria, or the Asian mysterious pangolin adding as the ninth to eight known species of pangolins
  • They were found during the molecular species identification of smuggled pangolin scales seized in China’s Yunnan and Hong Kong regions, when new mitochondrial haplotypes were detected

About Pangolin

  • India is home to two species:
  • Indian Pangolin, found across the subcontinent
  • Chinese Pangolin, found across a larger area in south Asia. Bihar, West Bengal, and Assam see the presence of both.
  • Both species are included under India’s Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act that could result in a jail term for those hunting animals listed here.
  • It is often described as the world’s most trafficked mammal.

Indian Pangolin

  • Indian pangolin, also called thick-tailed pangolin and scaly anteater is a pangolin native to the Indian subcontinent.
  • It can also curl itself into a ball as self-defence against predators
  • Indian Pangolin is an insectivore feeding on ants, termites and nocturnal
  • Listed in CITES Appendix I
  • IUCN status : Endangered
  • Distribution : Sri Lankan rainforest, plains to middle hill level, grasslands, adapted to dry areas and desert regions, but prefers more barren, hilly regions.

Chinese pangolin

  • It is a pangolin native to the northern Indian subcontinent, northern parts of Southeast Asia and southern China.
  • It has been listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List
  • Distribution : southern Nepal, north-eastern India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, northern Indochina, southern China including the island of Hainan, and most of Taiwan