Scientists Discover New Crab Species in Chinese Pet Market

Posted on September 7, 2016

Yuebeipotamon calciatile crab

Scientists have discovered a colorful new species of freshwater crab. The orange and maroon crab is a new species and a new genus. It was discovered in a Chinese pet market by researchers from University of New South Wales, Australia, The Australian Museum, Sun Yat-sen University, China, and National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan.

Lead author Chao Huang persuaded a fish dealer at the market to let them survey the collection site in northern Guangdong. The crab species has been named Yuebeipotamon calciatile. The genus name is derived from the Chinese spelling system "Yue Bei," which means northern Guangdong. The name calciatile means "living on limestone." This refers to the preference of the crab to inhabit pools of limestone hill streams. The crabs typically hide in crevices. They are good climbers and their slender legs help make it easy for them to climb to find new water sources when one of the pools dries up.

A research paper on the new crab species was published here in the journal, ZooKeys.

Photo: Hsi-Te Shih