A new species of long-legged crab living on trees and substantially different from other congeners has been discovered in regions of the Western Ghats in Kerala. The new species, Kani maranjandu, is named after the Kani tribesmen in Kerala, who helped discover the tree crab. Maranjandu is the local Malayalee name for tree crab. The Kani maranjandu has distinguishing characteristics such as a hard shell, as well as abdominal structure and reproductive parts in males, and long legs, which no other species in its genus has.
The discovery is very important in the context of the conservation of the Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot as they can serve as ecological indicators, reflecting the health of the ecosystem, according to Biju Kumar from the University of Kerala. The new species named Kani maranjandu after the Kani tribe in Kerala, are substantially different from other congeners. The characteristic traits of the crab include the structure of its hard upper shell, its male abdominal structure and reproductive parts and diagnostic elongated walking legs, which no other genus has, said researchers from University of Kerala. This is the first report of its kind to offer a record of an arboreal crab – a species that lives in trees. The survey of the freshwater crab fauna started in 2014 in the Westerns Ghats in Kerala. People from the Kani tribe reported sightings of a ‘long legged’ tree crabs in the area. After a year, researchers were finally able to capture a female specimen and later a large adult male…….