Wednesday 25 November 2015

Sundathelphusa brachyphallus: A new species of Freshwater Crab from southern Kalimantan, Borneo.

Freshwater Crabs of the genus Sundathelphusa are found in the Philippines, Sulawesi, Borneo and the Lesser Sunda Islands. To date thirty-three species have been described, though only two of these came from Borneo, Sundathelphusa tenebrosa, from northern Sarawak and Brunei, and Sundathelphusa aspera from northwestern Sabah.

In a paper published in the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology on 23 October 2015, Peter Ng of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum at the National University of Singapore, described a third Sundathelphusa species from Borneo.

The new species is named Sundathelphusa brachyphallus, in reference to the G1 segment of the abdomen (the tip of the tail of the crab, though this is folded under the body and invisible to a casual observer), which is short, stout and directed obliquely outwards. The species is described from two male specimens, one 27.1 mm in width the other 29.3 mm, collected at Liang Hintan in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo).

Sundathelphusa brachyphallus, male specimen in dorsal view. Ng (2015).

Ng notes that the three Bornean (check spelling) species of Sundathelphusa differ from other members of the genus in a number of ways, including a generally more flattened body and the structure of the abdomen. He suggests that these species may in the future be separated out to form a new genus.

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