New species: the “strawberry crab”

There’s a tiny flurry in the press today as Ho ping-Ho, a professor at Tawian Ocean University, has announced the discovery of a new species of crab, the “strawberry crab,” from the coast of southern Taiwan.  Indeed, it does look like a strawberry.  However, it’s not clear whether this species is really new, since it resembles Neoliomera pubescens, a “strawberry crab” long known (since 1865) from islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.  Ho says the new one is different since, as US News and World Report notes, “it has a distinctive clam-shaped shell about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) wide”, which apparently differs in an unspecified way from N. pubescens. I’ll take his word for it.

The only photo I could find of the already-described species is indistinct, so I can’t verify this difference.  Nevertheless, Ho’s species is a cute little crab (about 1″ across), so here it is:

Figs. 1  The newly-discovered (?) strawberry crab.

Oh, and while investigating links to this beast, I found another one — an octopus (from the waters off southeast Asia) with the magnificent name of Wonderpus photogenicus.  Of course P.Z. described this a few years ago, but I don’t think he’s posted a movie:

10 Comments

  1. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    The trivial callback would be that “with a wonder-puss like that I would be photogenicus too”. But as this blog is anything but trivial, I should probably abstain.

  2. Posted January 6, 2010 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Ah ha, how could evolution ever produce a crab in the ocean which is camouflaged to escape predators in a strawberry patch?

    Glen Davidson
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  3. Emily
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    New species or not, that strawberry crab is precious.

    Publishing images or displaying specimens of N. pubescens would resolve whether this new guy this belongs to the same species (or not).

  4. Sven DiMilo
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Great. Now PZ is gonna have to post a vid of somebody torturing a cat, and it’ll all probably go positive feedback.

    • Sili
      Posted January 6, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Nah, I suspect that most of us Pharyngulistas would turn on him if he did any such thing. We’re puppykickers, not kittentorturers.

  5. MadScientist
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    I have never seen a strawberry with white spots. I prefer toadstool crab, or perhaps muscaria crab – but polkadot crab is more neutral.

  6. Hempenstein
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    You suppose they’re toxic? And (especially if not) what color do they turn if steamed?

  7. SaintStephen
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Wonderpus photogenicus?

    It’s not like you to call PZ Myers names, Professor Coyne.

    That photo of him trolling in drag in the Western bar would be aptly described by this phrase, however.

  8. Max
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Hmm, I’m pretty sure this is a Pokemon called “Parasect”.

  9. newenglandbob
    Posted January 11, 2010 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Could’t they get the little guy to smile instead of sneer for the photograph?


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