New species of estuarine crab “Pseudohelice annamalai”


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    Researchers have discovered a new species of estuarine crab at the mangroves of Parangipettai near the Vellar River estuary in Cuddalore district.

    Image Courtesy :TH

    About Pseudo Helice annamalai”

    • 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, Pseudo Helice, collected from high intertidal areas in front of the Centre of Advanced Studies (CAS) . 
      • So far, only two species — Pseudo Helice subquadrata and Pseudohelice latreilli — have been confirmed within this genus. 
    • Description :  It 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.
      • 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,
    • Habitat : The species inhabits muddy banks of mangroves, and the burrows were located near the pneumatophores of  Avicennia mangroves. 
    • Distribution : The species discovered is distributed around the Indian subcontinent and the eastern Indian Ocean
      • The occurrence of Pseudo Helice 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, the researchers said.