Friday 10 May 2024

Gordonopsis mazupo: A new species of deep-sea Porter Crab from the South China Sea.

Porter Crabs, Homolidae, are long-limbed Crabs which live on the continental slope and continental shelf away from inshore environments. Their common name comes from their last pair of legs, which are held under the body, and used to carry other organisms, such as Corals, Anemones, or even Sea Urchin's, presumably as a defence against predators.

In a paper published in the journal Raffles Bulletin of Zoology on 3 May 2024, Peter Ng of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum at the National University of Singapore, and Xinming Liu of the Institutes of Marine Drugs at the Guangxi University of Chinese Medicine, and the Guangxi Key Laboratory of Marine Drugs, describe a new species of Porter Crab from the Zhongnan Seamount in the South China Sea.

The new species is placed in the genus Gordonopsis, and given the specific name mazupo, in reference to the Chinese sea goddess of the same name. The species is named from a single male specimen, collected from the Zhongnan Seamount- at a depth of 897 m, along with a Bamboo Coral, by the Shenhaiyongshi submersible of the Research Vessel Tansuo2 on 20 March 2021.

Gordonopsis mazupo, holotype male (33.4 × 24.3 mm) (SY353B6), South China Sea. Colour in life. Scale bars are 10.0 mm. Yadong Zhou in Ng & Lui (2024).

The single known specimen of Gordonopsis mazupo has a yellowish carapace 33.4 mm in length and 24.3 mm in width, and extremely long, orange-coloured, spiney legs.

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