New Crab Species is Covered in Star-Shaped Tubercles

Posted on August 29, 2017

Starry Pariphiculus stellatus crab

A newly discovered crab species is covered in star-shaped tubercles. The crab species was found in red coral beds during a survey of a seamount by Peng-Chia-Yu Island, Taiwan. The crab species has also been found in the Philippines.

The wart-like outgrowths on the crab change with its age. They become shorter, blunter and mushroom-shaped as the crab gets older. The crabs' carapaces also get rounder and wider as they grow bigger. The coloration of the crabs varies among specimens. They are predominately orange with white patches but they have varying shade.

The crab species was given the name Pariphiculus stellatus because of the tubercles. Stellatus means "starry" in Latin. The species was identified by Dr. Peter Ng, National University of Singapore, and Dr. Ming-Shiou Jeng, Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taiwan. A research paper on the crabs was published in the journal, ZooKeys.

Dr. Peter Ng says in the announcement, "With their bright orange to pink bodies, these hedgehog-like crabs are truly striking in life!"

Image: Dr. Peter K. L. Ng

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