Tuesday, April 24, 2012

NEW SPECIE: The Philippine Purple Crab

Just when we thought we humans knew and conquered anything and everything, still our region reveals new species almost yearly! In 2010-2011, 200 new species was discovered in Southeast Asia.

Four new species of colorful crustaceans have been discovered in the Philippines. The crab's brilliant hues may simply help the species recognize its brethren, said study author Hendrik Freitag, of the Senckenberg Museum of Zoology in Dresden, Germany.

A purple crab stares down the camera in the Philippine island of Palawan in an undated picture. The colorful crustacean, dubbed Insulamon palawanense, is one of four new species in the Insulamon genus described in a recent study.

Including the previously known I. unicorn, all five Insulamon species are exclusively freshwater creatures, spending their days burrowing in muddy holes and emerging at night to feed.

That's an unusual life cycle for a crab—most of the world's known crabs migrate to the sea at some point to spawn, Freitag said.

A view of the underside of an I. magnum female reveals the eggs she's carrying.

After finding the new Philippine species, Freitag and students from Ateneo de Manila University plan to survey the Philippines' Mindoro Island, where many habitats are already pressured by mining.

"Many new species can be expected," he said.


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