New species of estuarine crab discovered in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu
Ecology and Environment
11th Nov, 2022
Researchers of Annamalai University have discovered a new species of estuarine crab at the mangroves of Parangipettai near the Vellar River estuary in 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 subquadrata and Pseudohelice latreilli.
Location: The Vellar River Estuary
- Pseudohelice annamalai is distinguished by dark purple to dark grey colouring, 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.