year in review 2018 Paperturn - Page 143



2018: A YEAR IN REVIEW | RESEARCH
NEW HERMIT
CRAB SPECIES
3D X-ray micro-computed tomography
has helped UCT researchers describe
a new hermit crab species, Pagurus
fraserorum, found in the rocky subtidal
reefs off the coast of KwaZulu-Natal.
IN 3D
The new species, pinkish-maroon
and cream in colour, was found
among the rocky reefs off Pumula
and Hibberdene near Port Shepstone
in KZN. It was known previously only
from a photographic record taken at
Veitch’s Pier in Durban.
It is the sixth species of Pagurus
known in South Africa and is closely
related to similar Indo-Pacific and
Taiwanese crabs. However, with its
characteristic shape, spines and
hairs on the pincers and the walking
legs, Pagurus fraserorum is not
easily mistaken for any other, said
Landschoff.
Photo Jannes Landschoff
The study by marine taxonomist
Dr Jannes Landschoff (Department
of Biological Sciences) is the first
description of a hermit crab in which
most of the taxonomic details have
been illustrated using 3D volumerendered illustrations, with added
line drawings to show high-resolution
surface structures.
The technique gives taxonomists
a new tool to “dissect” and study
rare or delicate specimens on their
computer screens, with or without
museum or natural history collections
and artists’ replicas.
The paper was published in PLOS
One with co-authors UCT Emeritus
Professor Charles Griffiths; Tomoyuki
Komai of the Natural History Museum
and Institute in Japan; Anton du
Plessis of the Central Analytical
Facility, Stellenbosch University; and
Gavin Gouws of the South African
Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity.
The new crab species has been
named after Mike and Valda Fraser
and their son Allan, who are well
known in the dive community and
authors of several reef guides.
141

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