Split Identity: The Flower Crab is Actually Four

The commonly eaten flower crab or swimming crab actually comprises 4 species.

Portunus Lai et al

These crabs that were all formerly known as Portunus pelagicus are now A) Portunus pelagicus, B) P. segnis, C) P. reticulatus, and D) P. armatus. Photo by Joelle Lai.

This research finding recently featured on The Straits Times was published in the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology in 2010 by museum staff Dr Joelle Lai, Prof Peter Ng and Dr Peter Davie of the Queensland Museum.

It shows the importance of biodiversity research and its applications in the management of commercial fisheries, particularly of the concern about over-harvesting.

Read the Straits Times report here: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/a-single-name-for-4-species-of-swimming-crabs

Read the original research paper here:  A Revision of the Portunus pelagicus (Linnaeus, 1758) species complex (Crustacea: Brachyura: Portunidae), with the recognition of four species.

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