Hermit Crabs, Paguroidea, are highly specialised Decapod Crustaceans that have largely soft exoskeletons and recycle the shells of other animals, usually Gastropod Molluscs, as protection for their bodies. This enables them to live high in the littoral zone (beach environments) where calcium for making shells is hard to get but Crab-eating predators are common, thereby exploiting an environment effectively closed to other Crabs. Hermit Crabs are found on beaches throughout the world's tropical and temperate regions, though they are far more abundant in the tropics, and some members of the group have colonised other environments.
In a paper published in the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology on 17 January 2018, Maria Celia Malay of the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of the Philippines Visayas, Dwi Listyo Rahayu of the Marine Bio-Industry Implementation Unit of the Research Centre for Oceanography of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, and Tin-Yam Chan of the Institute of Marine Biology and Center of Excellence for the Oceans at the National Taiwan Ocean University, describe a new species of Hermit Crab from Pamilacan Island in Bohol Province, the Philippines, as part of a wider study of Hermit Crabs in the Philippines.
The new species is placed in the genus Dardanus and given the specific name balhibuon, meaning 'hairy'. The species is described from a single female specimen collected from a subtidal reef slope on Pamilacan Island in 2004 and held in the collection of the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila. This specimen was originally labelled as belonging to the species Dardanus lagopodes, but is now recognised as belonging to a separate species due to its larger size and general hairiness. This specimen is 14.3 mm in length, and is an orange-brown colour after being preserved in alcohol for over a decade, though it was probably originally purplish red (i.e. similar in colour to Dardanus lagopodes).
Dardanus balhibuon, female specimen preserved in alcohol since 2004. Malay et al. (2018).
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