Rare crab, thought extinct, spotted in Taiwan

October 12th, 2008 - 2:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Taipei, Oct 12 (DPA) A species of rare land crab has been spotted in Taiwan, the third time that the species has been observed by scientists, a newspaper said Sunday.The sesarmid crab, named labuanium trapezoideum, was spotted in the Kenting National Park in south Taiwan, the Taipei Times reported.

The park’s biologists said that the species was first spotted on Andaman Island in the Indian Ocean in 1837 and biologists did not find another such crab until 166 years later.

In 2003, a group of biologists found several labuanium trapezoideum crabs in Taitung county, southeast Taiwan, and made detailed records of their biological and behavioural characteristics,
which was later published in the science journal Crustaceana.

Since 2003, however, no other habitats of labuanium trapezoideum crabs had been found in Taiwan.

Last month, an amateur ecologist at the Kenting National Park reported having seen and photographed a “strange” crab, which was later identified as a labuanium trapezoideum crab. Park biologists said the finding indicates the species still exists, and there may be a new habitat inside the national park, the newspaper reported.

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