Scientists have discovered a unique species of hermit crab in South Africa
New Delhi,July17: Scientists have discovered a unique species of hermit crab in South Africa that measures just 70 millimetres in lenght and has a colouration of mottled orange nuanced with cream to white.
The newly discovered crustacean is called Paragiopagurus atkinsonae or the ‘Green-eyed hermit crab’.
Among its distinct traits is the significant sexual diorphism, where the males grow much larger right chelipeds in comparison to females.
“So, when you hold it, it is just organic material glued together with some sand,” said Jannes Landschoff, PhD student at University of Cape Town in South Africa.
The new species was discovered during a three-week survey back in 2013, conducted by the Department of Forestry and Fisheries and the South African Environmental Observation Network in the shallower deep waters (199 metres to 277 metres) off the West Coast of South Africa.
Researchers were on board one of the vessels when an unusual green-eyed crab turned up among the numerous specimens collected in one of the trawls.