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A new species of terrestrial crab found in Hong Kong

Washington: What the CRAB! The scientists have found a new species of terrestrial crab, climbing trees on the eastern coast of Hong Kong.

The species is described in the open access journal ZooKeys.

All specimens spotted during the survey have been collected at a height of approximately 1.5 – 1.8 m, walking on the bark of the branches at ebbing and low tides.

The characteristics of the newly found species are squarish predominantly dark brown carapace, very long legs and orange chelipeds.

The species is less than a centimetre long, with the studied specimens measuring between eight and nine millimetres, irrespective of their sex.

The chelipeds of the males appear stout, while in females they are distinctly leaner.

Dr. Stefano Cannicci, the Swire Institute of Marine Science at the University of Hong Kong, and Dr. Peter Ng, National University of Singapore, the scientists who found the new species have placed them in a small genus.

In fact, Dr. Peter Ng has been involved in the discovery of all of them. He also led the team that established the genus 15 years ago, having collected a small previously undescribed species of mangrove crab from Singapore.

The discovery of these tiny crustaceans, proves how little is known about the diversity of these crabs.

Earlier this year, Dr. Peter Ng teamed up with Dr. Jose Christopher Mendoza to describe another new species of crab, collected from the rubble at the island of Guam and named after two of the main characters in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter fantasy series.

Furthermore, the mangroves that make for the habitat of the new species are under severe impact by both pollution and land reclamation, which underlines the urgent need for their conservation. (ANI)