Manager Interview #2

Greetings to all 656 members of Crabs of the World! Thank you, as always, for adding your crab observations to this project, as they are not added automatically. We now have 1,761 species, closing in on my goal of 2,000. In this post, we have the second in a series of interviews with this project’s Managers. Then there are some links to four new crab species and two special hermit crab observations.

This interview is with the amazing crab expert @ondrej-radosta in the Czech Republic.

How did you first become interested in crabs?
I believe that when you are young, the fascination for nature is natural. Discovering all the beauties around is your main daily business. As a guy who was surrounded by mountains, when I was about six, I visited the shore for the first time. I was automatically fascinated by sea life, like with nothing else before. As a boy, playing with dinosaurs, I believe I had a closer relationship to crabs immediately, because they look like living fossils. Then puberty happened and my main focus was on girls and playing my guitar. :) But when I started to travel again, I found out that the world of crabs is richer than I ever imagined. My interest for them became deeper and deeper, and they never stopped fascinating and surprising me!

Are you currently involved in research or studies about crabs?
Not at the moment. I put my full attention to my crab encyclopedia project Traveling, photographing, editing and constantly keeping the information and identifications current and valid, is never-ending work. Also I constantly contribute to many books or studies about crabs, and help with identifications in my "Crustacean Identification Group" on Facebook on a daily basis. That keeps me busy almost every day :)

Tell us about your crab museum.
Well it started as a taxidermy project for Czech University of Life Sciences Prague with local crayfishes and for that I had to learn the best ways to preserve crustaceans, with a focus on coloration as well. Then I started to add European brachyurans, then other species... and you know how it goes. When you start something you enjoy, it quickly becomes an obsession. Or kind of :) My other preserved crabs went to Palacký University, Faculty of Science, where there is now a nice sea life exposition. But one day I would like to have one "real" crab museum, one place where it would be all dedicated only to crabs. But who knows if there will be the space, time, and money for such a project. Maybe my son will continue with the idea.

Do you have any favorite crab species?
There are a lot of them :) It would be more accurate to tell the favorite crab families, like Parthenopidae, Aethridae, or Leucosiidae and Calappidae... Because the list of the most favorite species would be very long :) But if I would have to mention a few, it would be definitely Daldorfia triangularisEtisus labouteiPhyllolithodes papillosusLissa chiragra, Aethra seychellensis, Dairoides kusei, Platymaia remifera, Garthambrus stellatus, Matuta purnama... and so, so many others, often even not described yet :)

Where do you go to find crabs? How do you look for them-- scuba diving, looking into tide pools, walking the beaches?
All kinds of ways. When we are on an expedition, we have our own tangle nets. When I travel on my own, I just visit the fishermen’s villages early in the morning, or go with them on the sea at night. Especially in Asia. The number of species they have in the nets as bycatch is enormous and it is usually enough to visit them just twice and I have enough work for the rest of the week, by identifying them and making photos. If there is not such an option, I wait for full moon low tides and go with a flashlight at night... Crabs are night creatures. What you can see on the beach during the day is just the tip of an iceberg :)

Is there a crab you want to see that you have never seen?
Again, the list would be endless :-) For example Lopholithodes mandtii, Garthambrus mironovi, Sculptolithodes derjugini, Sakaila wanawana, Daldorfia spinossisima, Lophozozymus cristatus, Dairoides seafdeci... But in general a lot of species which live in countries, where it is complicated to travel, due to political situations or other dangers... (or cold weather haha, I hate winter :)

Anything else?
Last two years I was locked in my country due to the pandemic, so I miss the ocean a lot! But the time spent at home gave me a space to finish many open “projects," dig deeper in old photos, unfinished cases, finalize some identifications or provide photos and necessary information for starting new papers on new species... But I hope to visit France this fall, as the pandemic situation in the world also gave me an opportunity to finally record European species for my Encyclopedia as well, which I always postponed. Since it was easy to travel the whole world, the old continent wasn't so interesting for me. But now is the time to make it right and cover this as well :)

Two new crabs by @tantsusoo in Singapore that need confirmation to be Research Grade:
An Actaeodes mutates (a Round Crab)
and a Dromidiopsis edwardsi (a Sponge Crab)

A gorgeous striped Liopetrolisthes mitra (a Porcelain Crab) brought to my attention by @leomondacal in Chile:

A Sudanonautes aubryi (African Freshwater Crab) from 2014 by @rob_palmer in Cameroon:

A couple of wonderful hermit crabs:
A Dardanus lagopodes (Hairy Red Hermit Crab) by @budak in Singapore:

A Dardanus sanguinolentus by @bug_girl in Indonesia, brought to my attention by @grahammcmartin:

Publicado por wendy5 wendy5, 23 de outubro de 2021, 06:01 PM


Hey!!! I absolutely loved the interview, that was really interesting!! Just wanted to let you know that I didn’t observe that last observation, I only identified it. @danvaughan observered it.

Publicado por bug_girl 8 meses antes (Sinalizar)

Hello Wendy! Thanks for the interview! Soon I will release some new observations from my latest trip in France :)
Lately I was contacted by Tomás Michel Rodríguez Cabrera about his work on Pseudothelphusidae and other freshwater crab species from Cuba. He offered me his photos and latest scientific research works. And I wanted to say, that this kind of help with my encyclopedia is always appreciated! So, if there are any guys specializing on any kind of crabs willing to provide their photos and knowledge, I will be happy. Like I've mentioned, my web crab encyclopedia will be never ending life time work. And I'm really not capable to make it all on my own :)

All the best

Publicado por ondrej-radosta 8 meses antes (Sinalizar)

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