TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese researcher Li Jheng-jhang (李政璋), a doctoral candidate at National Sun Yat-sen University, has discovered four new terrestrial crab species along a river in Taiwan's Kenting National Park.
As part of a research study sponsored by the Kenting National Park Administration, Li found the unique-looking new species near the Gangkou River basin in Pingtung County. His findings were published in the international scientific journal, Zoological Studies.
According to Kenting National Park Administration, the Gangkou River carries a high level of land crab diversity and is often referred to as the "treasure river for land crab studies." With the new discoveries, a total of 49 land crab species have been recorded in the area.
Li said the four species he discovered were: Parasesarma aurifrons, P. sanguimanus, Bresedium eurypleon, and Sesarmops mora.
Li said Parasesarma aurifrons is easily recognized by its distinct golden frontal band, while P. sanguimanus can be distinguished by its deep-red palm and outer surface. Both species have also been spotted at the mouth of Baoli Creek, he added.
As for the other two species, the land crab expert said Bresedium eurypleon is extremely rare and resembles its close relative, B. brevipes. Meanwhile, he said Sesarmops mora was actually found in the Philippines in the early 2000s, but could not be identified due to its complicated life history, reported CNA.
Li pointed out that Taiwan has an abundance of land crabs, but their populations have declined in recent years due to habitat destruction, human interference, and climate change. He urged the Taiwan government to take active measures to tackle such phenomenon and ensure biodiversity, reported Liberty Times.
P. sanguimanus. (CNA photo)
Parasesarma aurifrons. (CNA photo)
Bresedium eurypleon. (CNA photo)
Sesarmops mora. (CNA photo)