PhD student Sally Hall has formally described four new species of king crab, all from the deep sea.
The new species are Paralomis nivosa from the Philippines, P. makarovi from the Bering Sea, P. alcockiana from South Carolina, and Lithodes galapagensis from the Galapagos archipelago – the first and only king crab species yet recorded from the seas around the Galapagos Islands.
King crabs were first formally described in 1819. They include some of the largest crustaceans currently inhabiting the Earth. They are known from subtidal waters in cooler regions, but deep-sea species occur in most of the world’s oceans, typically living at depths between 500 and 1500 metres.
Many more species of King Crab remain to be discovered. “The oceans off eastern Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Southern Ocean are all particularly poorly sampled,” said Hall: “We need to know which king crab species live where before we can fully understand their ecology and evolutionary success.”
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
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