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Freshwater crab species found in Western Ghats

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    9th Sep, 2022

Context

A distinctively coloured crab species has been discovered in the Western Ghats by a forest guard and a group of researchers.

About the new species

  • The crab has been named Ghatiana dvivarnaspnov.
  • The freshwater species was first spotted in Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka.
  • The crab’s name is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘dvivarna’, which means bicolour, as the crustacean has a white body and claws and “red-violet” legs.
  • The species was first sighted in June, 2021 in Anshi wildlife range, Kali Tiger Reserve in Karnataka.
  • These crabs usually inhabit the holes in laterite rocks on the elevated mountains of central Western Ghats (south of Goa-Nilgiris) region.
  • They feed on mosses growing on laterite rocks and play a key role in ensuring ecological balance.
  • In India, there are about 125 species of crabs and 13 have been recorded so far under Ghatiana genus.
  • Ghatianadvivarna is the 14th freshwater crab to have been discovered.

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