Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Purple Crab Species discovered in Palawan, Philippines

A rare new species of purple crabs were recently found in Palawan, which are now said to be being threatened by various mining activities in the said region.

Insulamon palawanense
Photograph courtesy Hendrik Freitag

The four new crab species, which includes Insulamon Palawanense, were found by scientists at the Senckenberg Research Institute in Germany and De La Salle University in Manila. According to the report, which was also described in the study published in the journal Raffles Bulletin of Zoology last February, the new purple crab species were spotted in as part of their Aqua Palawana research program.

As described by Freitag at National Geographic late last week, the four species are in the genus Isulamon and are between 1-2 inches (2.5-5.3 centimeters) wide, with one of them, the I. unicorn, was known in the genus, having been found in 1992.

“We have proved that the only previously known type of Insulamon is restricted to the Calamian group of islands to the north of Palawan.” Study leader Hendrik Freitag of Senckenberg Museum of Zoology in Dresden, Germany, was quoted in a statement.

“The four newly discovered species live exclusively on the actual island of Palawan and make it a unique habitat. The smaller the remaining natural habitat, the greater is the risk to endemic fauna and flora.” Freitag added, noting that even the minor environmental changes can lead to extinctions.

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