Thailand Has a New Vampire Crab Species

A species of vampire crab basking on a leaf.

Researchers found a new vampire crab species in Thailand. It thrives in swamp forests mainly seen clutching on palm fruits and dashing across tree roots. They identified the new crustacean species as Geosesarma todaeng.

New Addition to the Vampire Crab Species

In 2016, researchers discovered a new vampire crab species in Thailand. This tiny freshwater marine creature is bright orange and measures around 1/2 inch long and 1/2 inch wide based on the study. They published their discovery in Tropical Natural History on July 20.

This crustacean is a bit wider than its length and easily identified by its colouring. According to experts, its shade changes from bright orange at its claws to dark brown going down to its back and legs. Pale blue spots and flecks mix with the orange and brown hue, while it’s yellow on the crab’s underside.

Researchers claimed their find specifies the third species of vampire crab (Geosesarma) in Thailand. The newly-discovered freshwater crustacean differs from other crabs due to its enlarged gastral region. Males possess different features in their gonopods used to transfer sperm.

Vampire crabs got their name because of their yellow eyes and orange or purple shell. Surprisingly, this new species found in Thailand doesn’t have yellow eyes. When disturbed, they immediately drop into the water.

Know More About the New Discovered Species

Other types of these crabs are commonly found in Java’s rainforest valleys. These brilliantly coloured decapods (10 legs) have nocturnal feeding habits. Their natural habitat includes rocky caves and tiny burrows dug up on the valley’s slopes. These are usually found near the edge of freshwater streams that run through the area.

These crabs love moderately shallow and warm water, where there are many roots and tropical vegetation for them to climb. Large leaves serve as their basking spot and conceal them from birds and other predators.

Living up to their name, vampire crabs are generally aggressive with other crab species but are respectful of their own kind. Generally, they live up to two years but can grow a bit older with proper care.

Image Source: Ng PKL, Ng PYC/WikimediaCommons