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Four new crab species are located in Kerala

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Researchers at the Department of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries of University of Kerala have discovered four new species of crab from the Kerala coast.

  • Research has been done by the A. Biju Kumar, R. Reshmi and Tomoyuki Komai of Japan.

Four new crab species are located in Kerala

These findings have been published in the international journal of taxonomy, Zootaxa. Here are the new crab species:

Hermit crabs from Diogenidae family
The Diogenidae family is known as “left-handed hermit crabs” because the left claw is larger than the right. These newly discovered crabs are narrow bodied animal lives inside a shell shaped like an elephant tusk.

  • Paguristes luculentus – It is a hermit crab species and represents the 9th of the genus from Indian waters. The species name luculentus (meaning colourful) refers to the livid living colour of the crustacean. It was collected off the coast of Kollam.
  • Diogenes canaliculatus – It is light brown in colour and named after the longitudinal furrows on the outer surface of the arm of the left chelate leg.

Hermit crab from Paguridae family
The Paguridae family is known for “right-handed hermit crabs”.

  • Pagurus spinossior – It is right handed crab and is tan in colour. The name spinossior refers to the strong armature on the clawed legs of the species. It was collected from Neendakara, Kollam.

Crab from Pinnotheridae family
The Pinnotheridae family is known for “tiny soft-bodied crabs”.

  • Afropinnotheres ratnakara – A new species of pinnotherid crab, was found inside the brown mussel (Perna perna) at Kovalam. The species was named ratnakara which means Indian Ocean in Sanskrit as the genus was reported for the first time from the Indian Ocean.

Keys
Scientific name of crab – Brachyura
Hermit crabs – They are ubiquitous animals (that can be found everywhere) which are not considered as “true” crabs as they lack an external shell on their soft abdomen and they live in abandoned gastropod (snail) shells in order to protect themselves.
Kerala Capital – Thiruvananthapuram
Kerala CM – Oommen Chandy