Monday, 11 September 2017

New crab with star-shaped outgrowths discovered in Taiwan


by Mongabay.com on 30 August 2017
From a red coral fishing ground off Taiwan, scientists have collected a new species of crab.
The orange crustacean is covered in numerous tiny, star-shaped protrusions and has been named Pariphiculus stellatus, from the Latin word stellatus meaning 'starry'.
In the same study, the scientists report the first-ever record of a rare crab species - Acanthodromia margarita - that they collected from the red coral beds.
A small seamount by Peng-Chia-Yu Island, located 60 kilometers (~37 miles) off Taiwan, is prized for its red corals — corals with red or pink skeletons, popularly used for jewelry.
From these red coral fishing grounds, scientists have collected a new species of crab: an orange crustacean covered in numerous tiny, star-shaped protrusions. The crab has also been discovered in the Philippines.
In a new study published in the journal ZooKeys, scientists have named the crab Pariphiculus stellatus, from the Latin word stellatus meaning ‘starry’.
The starlike outgrowths change with age, the researchers write in a statement,“becoming shorter, blunter and mushroom-shaped to resemble wart-like outgrowths and granules. Regardless of their sex, as the crabs grow larger, their carapaces also get proportionately rounder and wider.”

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