Qatar – A research team from the Marine Biology Cluster at Qatar University Environmental Science Center (QU-ESC) discovered a new species of crab during an exploration trip on the research vessel Janan. The trip aimed to investigate marine benthic biodiversity within the Qatar Marine Zone.
Named “Coleusia janani”, the new crab has never been collected or identified within Qatar’s waters or elsewhere. It is a small crab of 13.6 millimetres which inhabits a gravel/mud substrate associated with the oyster bed ecosystem. It has a bright orange and grey shell with two pairs of orange/red outlined circles on each side of the shell. Its legs and pinchers are white with orange bands. The investigation is a QU funded project.
“The discovery of Coleusia janani should trigger a revision of the Leucosiidae family of crabs in the region. This discovery underlines the gap in the taxonomic descriptions of the marine benthic environment and its associated species within the Qatar Marine Zone. It also represents a new species to science which is considerably exciting,” said ESC marine operations and logistics manager, Dr Ibrahim Abdullatif Al-Maslamani.
He added: “This new discovery aligns with QU’s commitment to study the marine environment and Qatar’s territorial sea. The university has always taken the lead in efforts to meet the requirements for marine studies with the acquisition of the sophisticated research vessel, Janan and other powerful survey assets like speed boats, remotely operated vehicles, and advanced analytical facilities. Additionally, QU’s marine science programme has produced many graduates whose contribution to Qatar’s marine conservation efforts will be invaluable.”