Nav: Home

New species of pea-size crab parasitizing a date mussel has a name of a Roman god

October 24, 2016

Tiny crabs, the size of a pea, dwell inside the mantles of various bivalves, living off the food filtered by their hosts. A new species of these curious crustaceans has recently been reported from the Solomon Islands, where an individual was found to parasitise a large date mussel.

Because of the new pea crab's characteristic large additional plate, covering its upper carapace, giving it the illusion of having two faces, it has been named after Janus, the Roman two-faced god. Discoverers Dr Peter Ng, National University of Singapore, and Dr Christopher Meyer, U.S. National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, have their findings published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

Being only the second species in the genus (the first was from Malaysia), the new pea crab Serenotheres janus can be distinguished by its broader carapace and other features. It is cream-yellow in colour.

Both representatives of the genus are unique in having an additional large plate covering the upper side of the carapace. However, its purpose is still unknown. The two pea crabs are also the only known parasites of the rock-boring bivalves of the mytilid subfamily Lithophaginae.
-end-
Original source:

Ng PKL, Meyer C (2016) A new species of pea crab of the genus Serenotheres Ahyong & Ng, 2005 (Crustacea, Brachyura, Pinnotheridae) from the date mussel Leiosolenus Carpenter, 1857 (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Mytilidae, Lithophaginae) from the Solomon Islands. ZooKeys 623: 31-41. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.623.10272

Pensoft Publishers

Related Natural History Articles:

Ancient natural history of antibiotic production and resistance revealed
The study is the first to put antibiotic biosynthesis and resistance into an evolutionary context.
The ancient history of Neandertals in Europe
Parts of the genomes of two ~120,000-year-old Neandertals from Germany and Belgium have been sequenced at the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Hydrogen-natural gas hydrates harvested by natural gas
A recent study has suggested a new strategy for stably storing hydrogen, using natural gas as a stabilizer.
The history of humanity in your face
The skull and teeth provide a rich library of changes that we can track over time, describing the history of evolution of our species.
Astronomers use Earth's natural history as guide to spot vegetation on new worlds
By looking at Earth's full natural history and evolution, astronomers may have found a template for vegetation fingerprints -- borrowing from epochs of changing flora -- to determine the age of habitable exoplanets.
More Natural History News and Natural History Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...