New crab species found near Karnataka's Yellapur is India’s 75th

Ghatiana Dwivarna: A new species of crab, "Ghatiana Dwivarna", has recently been discovered in Yellapur forest of Uttara Kannada district in the Western Ghats region.

Key Points:

  • The dual-toned crab, with white head and purple body, has been named Ghatiana Dwivarna (dichromatic).
  • The name of this new species of crab is derived from a Sanskrit word ‘dwivarna’ where ‘dwi' means 'two' and 'varna' means 'colour' i.e., two colour.
  • This fresh water crab that lives under small rock was found by Gopal Krishna Hegde, a wildlife enthusiast and photographer and Forest Guard Parashuram Bhajantri in the dense forestsof Bhare of the Western Ghats of Karnataka.
  • Coincidentally, Dwivarna, the 75th species of crab in the nation, received scientific recognition on August 15, the day the nation commemorated its 75th anniversary of independence.
  • The discovery was published in Nauplius, the journal of the Brazilian Crustacean Society.
  • Following the discovery, Hegde and Bhajantri have been conferred the title ‘Citizen Scientists.’’
  • They saw the crab for the first time on June 30, 2021.

The indigenous "Kunabi" tribe in this area was already aware of this crab.

About Dwivarna:

  • Dwivarna is a freshwater crab which belongs to the Ghatianagenus.
  • In terms of size a male Dwivarna crab is 24 x 13 mm while a female crab is about 29 x 15 mm.
  • The most distinctive physical characteristic of the crab is its colour; the crab has white head and a purple body.
  • It thrives on moss and lichens as well as small insects of the mosquito family.
  • It is a venomous crab and is definitely non-edible species of crab.
  • It is found in the holes found in laterite rocks on the elevated mountains of the Central Western Ghats (south of Goa-Niligiris) region.

Crab Species in India:

  • The discovery of Dwivarna takes the total tally of Crab species in the world to 125 out of which 75 are found in India.
  • Of the 75 Indian Carb Species, 13 are from the Ghatiana genus in India.
  • Dwivarna is the 14th freshwater crab to be found under the Ghatiana genus.