Fourth Manager Interview and now 1,822 crab species!

Greetings to all 687 members of Crabs of the World! Thanks for increasing our new total of 1,822 species, 43 more than two months ago! In this post we have an interview with another of our managers, @wernerdegier, Dr. Werner de Gier from Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, NL and Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Groningen, NL. Then links to some spectacular crabs that are new to iNaturalist, plus two special sightings that aren't new.

Q: How did you first become interested in crabs?

A: I became interested in crabs, and crustaceans in general, in my first year of university - in the same course I'm currently supervising for the upcoming generation of biologists. In this course, we had to draw the entire body of a typical North Sea crab (the Shore crab, Carcinus maenas). I found that my interest now comes from the different niches crabs have evolved into, there's such a wide diversity of shapes, colors, and sizes!

Q: Are you currently involved in research or studies about crabs?

A: I started working with crabs in my last year of university, which was 2018! For a research project for my Biology Master, I was travelling to Curacao, in the lesser Antilles (Caribbean), where I tried to figure out what shame-faced (box) crabs from the genus Calappa feed on in the wild. In the literature, co-evolution is mentioned between right-handed calappids and right-coiled marine snails, however, we found the DNA of many more prey items in the stomachs of the calappid crabs. Later, in my PhD, one of my interests was directed to the obscure family of the Pinnotheridae, or pea crabs. Pea crabs (mainly) live inside different hosts, like mussels and oysters, but their host-range is much bigger. I now try to figure out what type of adaptations pea crabs (and also symbiotic shrimp!) have evolved to live in these different hosts.

Q: Do you have any favorite crab species? 

A: This feels like choosing between your kids! I think, that even with my head in the pea crab literature, I still will choose shame-faced crabs. I do recommend looking into pea crab morphology; we highlight a few weirdos in our paper: De Gier & Becker, 2020 - like Xanthasia, Durckheimia and Serenotheres. For now, I choose "my" calappid species, Calappa ocellata, the ocellated box crab:

Q: Where do you go to find crabs?

A: If I go to the tropics, I always check if I can do some tidepooling there, since I cannot dive, sadly! Here in the Netherlands, my boyfriend and I always go to one spot, The Jacobahaven in Zeeland. We have found even some interesting species previously not seen in this region!

Q: Anything else? 

A: I would love to inspire more people to "be an expert" in their group of choosing. Try finding taxonomic literature, and go compare that to the photos on iNaturalist. Using Worms ( and the CrabDataBase (, try to find a digestible clade that can be identified using field-pics, and go ahead and discover new distribution-, host- and species-records!

Now some crabs that are new to iNaturalist:
Four of the many spectacular new crabs by @ondrej-radosta in The Philippines:
A Pseudolambrus harp (an Elbow Crab)
A Lophozozymus bertonciniae (a Round Crab)
An Acanthodromia margarita (a Podotrematan Crab)
A Cyrtomaia largo (A Spider/Decorator Crab)

Two new crabs by @craigjhowe in Honduras:
A few Coryrhynchus sidneyi (Shortfinger Neck Crabs)
A fascinating spider crab, with an ID to genus Podochela (of which none are identified to species on iNaturalist):

A few Thia scutellata (Thumbnail Crab) by @crabbymaxie in the Netherlands:

A Paguristes sinensis (Left-handed Hermit Crab) by @yeungs in Hong Kong:

A Pachycheles biocellatus (a Porcelain Crab) by @cristianmgv19 in Mexico:

Two new crabs by @dennisthediver in the Canary Islands, Spain:
An Ilia spinosa (a Purse Crab):
A Paragalene longicrura:
and please check out another by @dennisthediver, the cutest little Pilumnus villosissimus:

This crab isn’t new, but worthy of note:
One of very few identifiable juvenile Dardanus scutellatus (Blue-eyed Hermit Crab) observations on iNat., ID by @grahammcmartin and observation by @shelomi in Fiji:

If you read this far, a quick reminder to please add your crab observations to the project, as they are not automatically added. Thanks!

Publicado por wendy5 wendy5, 22 de março de 2022, 06:57 PM


Awesome interview with Werner & cool new crabs!!

Publicado por crabbymaxie 3 meses antes (Sinalizar)

Thanks @crabbymaxie !

Publicado por wernerdegier 3 meses antes (Sinalizar)

@wernerdegier interesting interview! Thank you!

@ondrej-radosta some crazy shapes on crabs!
Made me "wow" haha.

Also some cool findings by other members.
I'm happy to be a part of this.
Hope to find more nice crabs.
Keep on crabbing!

Also, big thank you @wendy5 for your support and lovely reactions always.

Publicado por dennisthediver 3 meses antes (Sinalizar)

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