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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Rare Crab Species `Corystes cassivelaunus,' found in Tuticorin

The Fisheries College and Research Institute (FCRI) here has recorded `Corystes cassivelaunus,' a reddish brown `masked crab,' for the first time along the Indian coast in the Gulf of Mannar.

Belonging to the family of Corystidae, the species was traced by a team headed by T. Vaitheeswaran, a research fellow at the institute, at a depth of 100 metres. They were conducting an underwater survey to assess crab biodiversity in the Gulf of Mannar this week.

"The crab found was a female, measuring four cm weighing nine gm. It was identified by its elongated oval carapace, which is brown in colour," V.K. Venkataramani, FCRI Dean said.

The species is usually found in temperate waters along British and French coast. "It lays eggs on sandy beaches and feeds on invertebrates such as polychaete worms and bivalve mollusks," he said.

The females carry eggs for about 10 months and have the capability to reproduce for several years.

Source: The Hindu

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