Patagurus rex Anker & Paulay 2013
Patagurus rex gen. et sp. nov., a deep-water pagurid hermit crab, is described and illustrated based on a single specimen dredged from 400 m off Moorea, Society Islands, French Polynesia. Patagurus is characterized by a subtriangular, vaulted, calcified carapace, with large, wing-like lateral processes, and is closely related to two other atypical pagurid genera, Porcellanopagurus Filhol, 1885 and Solitariopagurus Türkay, 1986. The broad, fully calcified carapace, calcified branchiostegites, as well as broad and rigidly articulated thoracic sternites make this remarkable animal one of the most crablike hermit crabs. Patagurus rex carries small bivalve shells to protect its greatly reduced pleon. Carcinization pathways among asymmetrical hermit crabs and other anomurans are briefly reviewed and discussed.
Key words: Decapoda, Paguridae, hermit crab, deep-water, carcinization, Porcellanopagurus, Solitariopagurus, Indo-West Pacific
Type species. Patagurus rex sp. nov., by present designation.
Etymology. The new genus is named after one of the world’s most eminent carcinologists, the late Dr. Patsy (Pat) A. McLaughlin (1932–2011). The generic name is a combination of McLaughlin’s preferred first name and the Greek word pagourus (a kind of crab), which was the origin for the nominal pagurid genus, Pagurus Fabricius, 1775. Specific epithet referring to the extraordinary albeit superficial resemblance of this new species to some king crabs (rex = king in Latin).
Distribution. Presently known only from the type locality off Moorea, Society Islands, French Polynesia.
Habitat. Mud and rocks bottom at a depth of 400 m.
Biological notes. The hermit crab was covering its miniature abdomen with a valve of the mytilid bivalve, Gregariella sp. (Figs. 4C, 6A, B).
Anker, Arthur & Paulay, Gustav. 2013. A Remarkable new Crab-like Hermit Crab (Decapoda: Paguridae) from French Polynesia, with comments on carcinization in the Anomura. Zootaxa. 3722(2): 283-300.