Here is a new publication describing a new genus and species of Leucosiid crab by RMBR director Professor Peter Ng and Dr Komai Tomoyuki of the Natural History Museum and Institute in Chiba! Dr Komai last visited us in February this year where he was working on a new species of hermit crab with Dr Rahayu and also with Professor Ng on this intriguing little crab – it is very tiny and resembles a piece of coral rubble!
Abstract: A new genus and new species of leucosiid crab, Coralliocryptus caementa n. sp., is described from Indo-West Pacific coral reefs in the Ryukyu Islands (Japan), Vanuatu, and Comoros. Although the new genus exhibits superficial resemblance to the Iphiculidae in having prominent vertical spiniform teeth on the cutting edges of the chela and the female abdomen consisting of freely articulated somites, the deeply excavated female sterno-abdominal cavity, which is completely covered by the abdomen, unambiguously places this unique taxon in the Leucosiidae. The highly eroded, coral-rubble mimic carapace suggests some degree of relationship between Coralliocryptus and some other ebaliinine genera, e.g., Alox Tan & Ng, 1995, Oreophorus Rüppel, 1830, Oreotlos Ihle, 1918.