Free Press Journal

New tree-climbing crab species found


Beijing: Scientists have discovered a new species of tiny terrestrial crabs in Hong Kong that can climb trees. The new species named Haberma tingkok have been placed in a small genus, which contains merely three members.

All specimens of the species were collected at a height of about 1.5 to 1.8 metres, walking on the bark of the branches at ebbing and low tides, scientists including those from the University of Hong Kong said.

Among the crab’s characteristic traits are squarish predominantly dark brown carapace, very long legs and orange chelipeds. The species is less than a centimetre long, with the studied specimens measuring between eight and nine millimetres, irrespective of their sex.

However, the chelipeds of the males appear stout, while in females they are distinctly more slender. The discovery of the tiny crustacean, by researchers including Peter Ng of National University of Singapore, once again proves how little is known about the diversity of these crabs in Hong Kong. The species is described in the journal ZooKeys.