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New purple crab found on Palawan Island in the Philippines

By Shane Graber - Posted Apr 20, 2012 11:00 AM
This new crab species, Insulamon palawanense, is one of four crustaceans found on the island during a recent scientific survey. The crab's attractive purple hue depicted in the accompanying photograph is a defining characteristic of this species. While this crab is not one that we normally would keep in our tanks given it is not a saltwater species, it is still very pretty none-the-less.
New purple crab found on Palawan Island in the Philippines

Purple Crab, Insulamon palawanense, found on Palawan Island. Photo courtesy Henrik Freitag.

"The particular violet coloration might just have evolved by chance, and must not necessarily have a very specific function or reason aside from being a general visual signal for recognition," said Henrik Freitag, the author of the study that is found in the latest issue of The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology.

Freitag also stated that the purple coloration of this crab could also have evolved over time so that others of its species could recognize each other. This trait would help especially with multiple species of crabs in the area.

Each of the four described crabs measure between one and two inches (2.5 to 5.0 cm) in diameter. Interestingly enough, there is only one additional crab in this genus, I. unicorn, and it was described in 1992 -- 20 years ago.

(via IBTraveller)

Author: Shane Graber
Location: Indiana

Shane has kept saltwater tanks for the last 12 years, is a research scientist, lives in northern Indiana, and is a proud Advanced Aquarist staffer.


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