A new year, a new interview, and a few new crabs!

Happy New Year to all 675 members of Crabs of the World! We now have 1,779 species, heading to the goal of 2,000. In this post, we have the third in a series of interviews with this project’s Managers. Then you see a few links to three new crab species, and then five observations I couldn’t resist sharing. This interview is with @mikegigliotti, a marine invertebrate biologist working on his PhD. Mike has made over 21,000 identifications on iNaturalist!

Q: How did you first become interested in crabs?
A: I first became interested in crabs when I was about 8 or 9 years old. My family took annual trips to Boston Red Sox games with free tickets from a family friend. After a couple of years of baseball games, we planned a week-long vacation starting in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. The friend with tickets took the kids down to the shore to turn over rocks and look at marine life. I was the youngest to go, but by far the most enthusiastic. I had never seen most of these creatures in the wild before, and the most charismatic ones by far were the crabs scurrying out of the way as we poked around. I became so fascinated with them, I never looked back!

Q: How are you currently involved in research / studies about crabs?
A: I'm currently a Ph.D. student at Florida Tech, and all my research involves the survivorship, stress, and biogeography of west-Atlantic crab species, while trying to predict their status at the end of the century in response to climate change. In the summers of 2019 and 2020, I did all of my specimen-driven research at Mote Marine Laboratory on stone crabs and mud crabs.

Q: Do you have any favorite crab species?
A: I think I'll have to default to nostalgia and say that my favorite species are the Atlantic rock crab (Cancer irroratus) and the Jonah crab (Cancer borealis) because they are the largest ones I could catch at Hampton Beach, NH, and species that I continued to catch every year. I would take these two species (plus the two invasive species also found in the shallows there, the European green crab and the Asian shore crab) and teach people who would pass by the makeshift tank I set up on the beach. But honestly, the more I look at my list of crabs that I've seen and/or caught in person, the longer I want the list to be! So I'll leave it just two species long.

Q: Where do you go to find crabs?
A: My family stopped taking our yearly trips to Hampton Beach a few years ago, and all my crab catches since have been in Florida. I've found them right offshore on Siesta Key Beach, crawling around the trees and roots in marshes on any Florida coast, or in slightly deeper water while snorkeling in 25-30 feet of water. Virtually every marine environment has crabs to find, including dry land!

Q: What crab in the world do you most want to see?
A: The list of crabs on my bucket list is practically never-ending, but toward the top are some of the land crabs with the seemingly neon coloration. Parasesarma indiarum is a prime example of this, a crab I've dreamed about traveling to see since I first found out about it (www.inaturalist.org/observations/9831802), and the same goes for any members of Geosesarma, the vampire crabs (www.inaturalist.org/taxa/484146-Geosesarma). Of course, there are still many species in this Western Hemisphere that I hope to track down someday, including Callinectes bocourti (www.inaturalist.org/observations/9144491), the red cousin of the Atlantic blue crab, Callinectes sapidus.

some crabs that are new to iNaturalist:

  1. A strange but tiny Elamena vesca by @jeanro in New Caledonia, IDed by @mazancourt:

  2. An amazing new genus of hermit crab, Trizocheles, found in Indonesia by @danvaughan and IDed by @drmattnimbs:

  3. A Clibanarius rhabdodactylus (a Left-handed Hermit Crab) that needs confirmation by @subhajit_roy in India:

These crabs are not new, but worthy of note:

  1. A stunning Paractaea monodi (a Round Crab) by @dennisthediver in the Canary Islands:

  2. An unusual crab— that doesn’t look like one— without its long legs, by @federico_latini in Italy:

  3. A spectacular Goniosupradens erythrodactylus (Rainbow Swimming Crab) by @thiebaud in Hawaii:

  4. An “ecology jackpot” that includes a Pagurus beringanus (Bering Hermit Crab) by @mckittre in Alaska:

  5. An especially beautiful Phyllolithodes papillosus (Heart Crab) by @kljinsitka, also in Alaska:

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, 15 de janeiro de 2022, 04:53 AM


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