Four new crab species discovered in Kerala
Researchers have discovered four new crab species namely Paguristes luculentus, Diogenes canaliculatus, Pagurus spinossior and Afropinnotheres ratnakara in Kerala.
They were discovered by collaborative research project of A. Biju Kumar, R. Reshmi and Tomoyuki Komai (Japan). These findings have been published in the international journal of taxonomy named Zootaxa.
- Discovery of these four new crab species (of them three are hermit crabs) from the Kerala coast highlights the diversity of the crustacean in the state.
- Paguristes luculentus: It is a hermit crab species belonging to the family Diogenidae was collected off the coast of Kollam. It represents the 9th of the genus known from Indian waters. The species name luculentus (meaning colourful) refers to its livid living colour.
- Diogenes canaliculatus: It is a hermit crab species belonging to the family Diogenidae has light brown or tan colour. It has been named after the longitudinal furrows on the outer surface of its arm on left chelate leg.
- The family Diogenidae of crabs are left handed hermits as their left claw is larger.
- Pagurus spinossior: It is hermit crab belonging to Paguridae family which are right handed crabs. It is tan in colour and was collected from Neendakara, Kollam.
- Its name spinossior refers to species strong armature on the clawed legs.
- Afropinnotheres ratnakara: It is a new species of pinnotherid crab genus. The genus was reported for the first time from the Indian Ocean.
- It was found inside the Perna perna (brown mussel) at Kovalam. The species names ratnakara in Sanskrit means Indian Ocean.
About Hermit Crabs
- Hermit crabs are ubiquitous animals. They are often considered to be true crabs but they are not.
- They live in abandoned gastropod (snail) shells in order to protect themselves.
- They lack an external shell and have soft abdomen compared to other crabs species which makes them vulnerable to predators.