New Species of Javan Vampire Crabs Face Potential Exploitation

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  • Insulamon palawanense crab. Image:

    Insulamon palawanense crab. Image:

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Peter Ng, a biology professor at the National University of Singapore, said that the existence of two vampire crab species is threatened. Peter said it is due to the increasing illegal trading of the crabs in Singapore.

    The newly-dsicovered vampire crab species named Geosesarma dennerle and Geosesarma hagen.are originally from Java Island, Indonesia, and are already already be under threat from potential over-collecting for the aquarium trade.

    "Any species that is over-exploited — be it for food, or as a pet — stands [to be] threatened," Ng said as quoted by Live Science. "More so for a small freshwater crab like this, which has a relatively restricted range."

    There are now 53 species of Geosesarma genus known to science, said Ng, who himself has named 20 of the species. He said he currently has another half a dozen or so newly collected Geosesarma species from Southeast Asia in his lab, and these species still need to be named and described.

    "The nightmare for biodiversity researchers is that we are always working against the clock — too many species to discover and too little time," Ng added.

    Ng’s report, which was written together with a German carcinologist Christian Lukhaup, was published on the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology.