Sunday, February 12, 2017

[Crustacea • 2017] Harryplax severus • A New Genus and Species of An Unusual Coral Rubble-inhabiting Crab (Brachyura, Christmaplacidae) from Guam

Harryplax severus 
Mendoza & Ng, 2017 

Harryplax severus, a new genus and species of coral rubble-dwelling pseudozioid crab is described from the island of Guam in the western Pacific Ocean. The unusual morphological features of its carapace, thoracic sternum, eyes, antennules, pereopods and gonopods place it in the family Christmaplacidae Naruse & Ng, 2014. A suite of characters on the cephalothorax, pleon and appendages distinguishes H. severus gen. & sp. n. from the previously sole representative of the family, Christmaplax mirabilis Naruse & Ng, 2014, described from Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. This represents the first record of Christmaplacidae in the Pacific Ocean. With the discovery of a second genus, a revised diagnosis for Christmaplacidae is provided.

Keywords: Pacific, Mariana Islands, taxonomy, Decapoda, Pseudozioidea, coral reef, coelobite, cryptofauna

Figure 1. AHarryplax severus gen. & sp. n., holotype, female (ZRC 2016.0253)
A habitus, dorsal view B cephalothorax, frontal view C cephalothorax, ventral view D thoracic sternum and vulvae, ventral view. 


Superfamily Pseudozioidea Alcock, 1898

Family Christmaplacidae Naruse & Ng, 2014

Harryplax gen. n.

Etymology: The new genus is named primarily in honor of the intrepid field collector, the late Harry T. Conley, who collected many interesting crustaceans in the rubble beds of Guam, including the species presently being described. The name is also an allusion to a famous namesake, Harry Potter, the magical hero of the popular book series by J.K. Rowling, and Mr. Conley’s uncanny ability to collect rare and interesting creatures as if by magic. The name is an arbitrary combination of “Harry” and the suffix “-plax”. Gender feminine.

Harryplax severus sp. n.

Etymology: The specific epithet, severus (L., harsh, rough, rigorous), alludes to the rigorous and laborious process by which this crab was collected. It is also an allusion to a notorious and misunderstood character in the Harry Potter novels, Professor Severus Snape, for his ability to keep one of the most important secrets in the story, just like the present new species which has eluded discovery until now, nearly 20 years after it was first collected. The name is used here as a noun in apposition.

 Jose C.E. Mendoza and Peter K.L. Ng. 2017. Harryplax severus, A New Genus and Species of An Unusual Coral Rubble-inhabiting Crab from Guam (Crustacea, Brachyura, Christmaplacidae). ZooKeys.  647: 23-35.   DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.647.11455

New crab species shares name with 2 'Harry Potter' characters and a hero researcher

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