Rain Bug or Red Velvet Mite or ‘Beer Bahuti’:
No matter how you name it; the endangered species of Thar needs protection on war-footings
As Thar receives rain, various types of insects invade, out of which one type of insect called with different names attracts everyone who find its glance. It is also learnt that the red velvet mites play a vital role in the decomposition process. But the details of that role are still missing.
This insect is called Rain Bug, ‘Rani Keeda’, Red Velvet Mite, and Beer Bahuti. These insects come on surface for short time and disappear quickly. These insects are covered by velvet like cover. These are harmless and amazing.
Juman Darbadar, an intellectual and elderly man of Umerkot is of the view, “We have been hearing from our elders that it is kind of tick (Joun / chichar) when it receives rain, a cover of velvet appear on it.” He deplored, “Its population is decreasing at alarming rate, due to its demand for medicinal use. Traditional healers, quacks (Hakeems) use it as a sex tonic and its oil is used for enlargement of breast.”
”Since generations, the natives and traditional healers in various cities and towns are using this rain insect as medicine both internally and externally,” he added.
“Surprisingly state government has no control or knowledge on its trade. This endangered species needs attention of various sane elements and the state otherwise we might miss this beautiful insect,” he added
12 year old Muhammad Saleh who was filling these insects in a bottle told INFN, “Traditional healers pay me 20 rupees for this bottle.” Last year he was paid the same amount.
A medical practitioner who also deals with sexual disorders told INFN that the traditional healers believe that oil extracted from this insect is used as a counter-irritant, but it appears to have no such properties, and its efficacy as a medicine is probably purely imaginary and due to its colour. It is also learnt that the red velvetmites play a vital role in the decomposition process. But the details of that role are still missing.
It is pertinent to mention here that internet which has become resource centre for different types of data is also silent in respect of its origin and other information. Research need to be started on this endangered species before it is too late.