20 October 2015

Tuesday Crustie: Climbing purple tree crab leader

Ooh, this new land crab is a beauty...

Not only does Arachnothelphusa merarapensis have a pretty shade of purple going for it, it has some darned interesting habits, too:

All three individuals collected by the authors were all found in trees, often quite high off the ground. Three is obviously not a huge number, but the team looked for any burrows on the ground, and didn’t see them, suggesting this species is a climber by nature.

Because this seems to be a tree dweller, it could easily be affected by logging. The good news is that this animal was found at Merarap Hot Spring Resort (which gives it its name), so its habitat seems safe right now. But that the team could only find three individuals suggests it might be a rare species.

Additional: Loved Rachel Feltman’s comment about this species:

If a crab lives in a tree, then it’s basically just a pinchy spider.


Grinang J, Min PY, Ng PKL. 2015. A new species of tree-hole dwelling freshwater crab of the genus Arachnothelphusa Ng, 1991 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Gecarcinucidae) from northern Sarawak, Malaysia, Borneo. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 63: 454-460. http://zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:4CC4DC84-8F6E-4524-9D3F-BAA3C2DAF588

No comments: