Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A new spider crab: Paramaya mulli

The crab family Majidae comprises of about 200 marine species that often live in deeper waters. The legs can be very long in some species which gave them the name spider crab. This new member was found in the Bay of Bengal in India.

The species is named after the Mulli plant in Tamil mythology, from the classic poetic work Kurunthogai. Mulli is a coastal plant (Spinifex littoreus) with very sharp spines (mull is the Tamil word for spiny), a character shared with the new crab species.

For the experts: The identity of the majid species of Paramaya De Haan, 1837, in the Indian Ocean is clarified with the collection of fresh specimens from the Bay of Bengal. Previously identified as P. spinigera (De Haan, 1837) which is known only from Japan, Taiwan, and Korea, the material from eastern India is here referred to a new species, P. mulli sp. n. The new species can easily be distinguished from all congeners by its relatively shorter pseudorostral and carapace spines, more swollen branchial regions, distinctly granulated male thoracic sternum, and the G1 is not prominently curved with the dorsal projection on the sub distal part short and the tip rounded.

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