Wild Fact #313 – Welcome to the Newly Discovered Club – Purple Crab

Newly Discovered Purple Crab

Photo by Hendrik Freitag (Discoverer)

If you keep tabs on newly discovered animals then you may have noticed the buzz around the Internet yesterday about the newly discovered Purple Crab. That’s right, a purple coloured crab was identified on Palawan, a Philippine Island. Since this creature was just discovered, we don’t know a whole lot about them but we do know they are a colour variation of the¬†Insulamon freshwater crab and can only be found in this area. The ocean surrounding the islands prevent this amazingly colourful crab from venturing to new locations. So, are you up for a trip to Palawan to see if we can find this new species of crab? I am sure the flights will be booked solid with people flocking to the Island so we had better get going.

How Do You Miss a Purple Crab?

The Purple Crab is one of 4 new species of crab found during this expedition, all of which have similar colours and belong to Insulamon family. This family contained one species prior to this new discovery, so congratulations on expanding your family! This Purple Crab has a beautiful purple shell with bright red-tipped claws giving them a spectacular look. Are you wondering how this brightly coloured animal has gone unnoticed for so long? Although, they are easy to spot, these crabs are only about 5 cm (2″) in length and spend most of their time burrowing under rocks.

Newly Discovered Purple Crab

Photo by Hendrik Freitag

Restricted by Freshwater

Unlike many other crab species, the Purple Crab – and the rest of the Insulamon family – require freshwater to survive. All stages of their life depend on the presence of freshwater. As a result, they are unable to move to another location because of the salty ocean water surrounding this heavenly island. This requirement on freshwater may cause this species their life.

Newly Discovered…..Brink of Extinction?

Unfortunately, mining is a popular industrial activity in Palawan, which is threatening the existence of this newly discovered species. It would be all too sad to see this beautiful create disappear for good. Especially, since we just found them! As future mining projects are being proposed for this diversity rich island, animals such as the Purple Crab, need to rely on humans protesting these development projects. Additional studies are being conducted to show that this island needs to be protected from industrial activities such as mining. Who knows, perhaps we will be discovering more species as these research studies continue.

For more information about the Conservation efforts of Palawan Island and ways for you to help, check out the Community Centred Conservation website.

Add Comment