New Crustaceans found in Kerala

  • Researchers at the Department of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries, University of Kerala, have found 4 new species of crabs from the Kerala coast.
  • 3 hermit crabs and a new species of pinnotherid crab are part of the discovery.
  • The first of the new hermit crab species namedPaguristes luculentus was collected in Kollam coast.
  • The second speciesDiogenes canaliculatus is named after the longitudinal furrows on the outer surface of the arm of the left chelate leg.
  • The third speciesPagurus spinossior belongs to another hermit crab family Paguridae taken from Neendakara, Kollam.
  • The pinnotherid crab,Afropinnotheres ratnakara found at Kovalam was named after the Indian Ocean in Sanskrit.

Background

  • Hermit crabs are ubiquitous animals often not considered to be ‘true’ crabs as they lack an external shell on their soft abdomen which leaves them vulnerable to predators.
  • They live in abandoned gastropod (snail) shells to protect themselves.
  • Their last two pairs of legs are small and modified and, along with their uropods (appendages at the end of the abdomen), are used to clamp onto the internal whorls of the shell.

News Item Compiled by Adarsh Mohandas

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