You might have read our previous posts on the new crab species which was found near Hluhluwe River Lodge. The team from the School of Life Sciences at University of KwaZulu-Natal returned to the lodge recently not for accommodation and great food but to collect more specimens of the Potamonautes crab. Proffesor Renzo Perissinotto who is the Professor & Academic Leader of Biodiversity & Evolutionary Biology explained that due to the sensitive nature of DNA identification process it was neccesary to collect more specimens for analysis.
The Potamonautes is the most common crab in the World Heritage area of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park however the specimens collected in the near vicinity of Hluhluwe River Lodge and False Bay Park have indicated a possible new sub species. The crab lives in burrows and can be found in open shallow water and pools. The specimens collected over this last weekend were mostly hiding under detritus deposited on the river bank from the summer flooding.
According to the chief researcher and crab specialist Nasreen Peer the for research into this crab is the ongoing need for investigation and research into biodiversity of crabs and other marine and estuarine creatures which have an impact on the ecosystems that occur in this diverse world heritage site environment stretching from Mapelane to Kosi Bay. By observing the distribution and behaviour of these crabs reserchers can better understand and monitor the health and the threats to this marvelously inter-dependent lake system and its surrounding land mass.