Source: The post is based on the article “New species of estuarine crab discovered in Cuddalore named after Annamalai University” published in the The Hindu on 9th November 2022.
What is the News?
The new species discovered in the estuary of Cuddalore district by the faculty of Annamalai University has been named ‘Pseudohelice annamalai’. This is done in recognition of Annamalai University’s 100 years of service in education and research.
About Pseudohelice annamalai
A new species of estuarine crab has been discovered in the mangroves near the Vellar River estuary in the Cuddalore district.
Characteristics: It is distinguished by dark purple to dark grey colouring, with irregular light brown, yellowish brown, or white patches on the posterior carapace with light brown chelipeds.
The new species is small and has a maximum width of up to 20 mm. This species is not aggressive and can move fast like other intertidal crabs.
Distribution: The species inhabits muddy banks of mangroves and burrows. The species discovered is distributed around the Indian subcontinent and the eastern Indian Ocean.
Significance: This is the first-ever record of this genus in India. So far, only two species — Pseudohelice subquadrata and Pseudohelice latreilli — have been confirmed within this genus.
The occurrence of Pseudohelice in India links the distribution gap between the western Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean. The new species provides additional evidence of the geographic isolation of the eastern Indian Ocean for some marine organisms.