What's New :
New species of estuarine crab was discovered in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu
Researchers of Annamalai University have discovered a new species of estuarine crab in the mangroves of Parangipettai near the Vellar River estuary in the Cuddalore district.
What is an Estuary?
- An estuary is an area where a freshwater river or stream meets the ocean. In estuaries, the salty ocean mixes with a freshwater river, resulting in brackish water.
About the Species:
- The species has been named Pseudohelice Annamalai in recognition of Annamalai University’s 100 years of service in education and research.
- This is the first-ever record of this genus, Pseudohelice, collected from high intertidal areas in front of the CAS.
- So far, only two species — Pseudohelice subquadrate and Pseudohelice Latreille.
- Pseudohelice Annamalai is distinguished by dark purple to dark grey coloring, with irregular light brown, yellowish brown, or white patches on the posterior carapace with light brown chelipeds.
- The new species is small and has a maximum width of up to 20 mm.
- The species inhabits muddy banks of mangroves, and the burrows were located near the pneumatophores of Avicennia
- Burrows have a depth of 25-30 cm and are branched, with larger pellets around the entrance.
- This species is not aggressive and can move fast like other intertidal crabs.
- As many as 17 species of intertidal crabs have been recorded in the same region.
Significance of the Species:
- The occurrence of Pseudohelice in India links the distribution gap between the western Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean.
- The new species provides additional evidence of the geographic isolation of the eastern Indian Ocean for some marine organisms.
Location: The Vellar River Estuary
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