Terrathelphusa kuchingensis (Nobili, 1901)

Grinang, Jongkar & Ng, Peter K. L., 2015, The identity of the semiterrestrial crab Terrathelphusa kuchingensis (Nobili, 1901) (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Gecarcinucidae), with descriptions of four new species from southwestern Sa, Zootaxa 3946 (3), pp. 331-346: 332-333

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Terrathelphusa kuchingensis (Nobili, 1901)

s. str.

Terrathelphusa kuchingensis (Nobili, 1901)  s. str.

( Figs. 1View FIGURE 1 A–H, 2 A–E, 11 A, B)

Potamon (Geothelphusa) kuchingensis Nobili, 1901: 5  ; Rathbun 1905: 217.

Parathelphusa  ( Liothelphusa  ) kuchingensis— Colosi 1920: 27.

Thelphusula melanippe  buergeri— Bott 1970: 61 (part) (not Potamon (Geothelphusa) bürgeri De Man, 1899  ).

Terrathelphusa  kuchingensis— Ng 1989: 127, pl. 4, fig. 3, colour pl. 2 B; Ng 1995: 195; Ng & Grinang 2004: 314, fig. 7; Ng 2004: 327; Ng & Yeo 2007: 111; Ng et al. 2008: 73; Cumberlidge et al. 2009: appendix 1; Grinang 2013: 6, pl. 3.

Material examined. Holotype: female (25.0 × 19.5 mm) ( MUTAbout MUT), Kuching, coll. R. Shelford, December 1891. Paratype: 1 male (22.5 × 18.4 mm), 3 females (largest 34.6 × 26.0 mm) (SM Cru 1986.62 - 65), Kuching, Sarawak, as Geothelphusa kuchingense  by G. Nobili, same data as holotype; 1 male (36.0 × 26.4 mm) ( ZRCAbout ZRC 2015.0001), farming plots, foothill of Gunung Temurang, Kuching, Sarawak, 1 O 12 ’ 34.4 ”N 110 O 16 ’ 10.1 ”E, 63 m asl, Padawan- Penrissen limestone formation, coll. J. Grinang et al., 16 August 2009.

Diagnosis. Carapace evenly oval transversely, longitudinally, surface convex, conspicuously smooth; epigastric cristae separated by deep epigastric groove; H-groove deep, almost confluent with cervical grooves; epibranchial tooth indistinct but can be separated from external orbital angle by notch, anterolateral, frontal regions appearing compressed; supraorbital margin almost parallel with frontal margin; epistome median lobe pointed to bifurcated ( Fig. 1View FIGURE 1 A–C; Ng, 1989: pls. 4 A–C). Male abdomen with elongated somite 6, lateral margins gently concave ( Fig. 1View FIGURE 1 D). Ischium of third maxilliped rectangular, about 1.8 times maximum width ( Fig. 1View FIGURE 1 E). Ambulatory legs smooth, long, about 3.9 times width ( Fig. 1View FIGURE 1 F; Ng, 1989: pl. 4 A). Cheliped carpus rugose, without granules ( Fig. 1View FIGURE 1 G, H), inner angle with acutely triangular tooth ( Fig. 1View FIGURE 1 A); gap between major chela conspicuously wide ( Fig. 1View FIGURE 1 H). G 1 terminal segment cone-shaped, tapered, gently curving outwards, subequal to half-length of subterminal segment ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2 A, B, D, E; Ng 1989: Fig. 3View FIGURE 3 B, C).

Life colour. Carapace is dark purple with orange to white legs and chelipeds ( Fig. 11View FIGURE 11 A, B).

Habitat. Foothills of limestone outcrops and adjacent farming plots; in shaded and moist soil. Individuals live in burrows about 1 m deep.

Remarks. The taxonomic problems associated with T. kuchingensis  , mostly on the absence of fresh specimens and their precise provenance, have been discussed at length by Ng (1989) and Ng & Grinang (2004). Nobili (1901) only recorded that the holotype specimen was passed to him by Robert Shelford, curator of zoology in the Sarawak Museum, who obtained it from Kuching in Sarawak. Recent collections in the Kuching region have provided further knowledge on the taxonomy and precise distribution of the species. The recent male specimen agrees very well with description of the species by Ng (1989) and the SM specimens collected at around the same time as the type. It was collected from Gunung Temurang in Padawan-Penrissen limestone formation area. The limestone hill is located about 5 km from Pangkalan Ampat, a site where Shelford stayed during his expedition to Gunung Penrissen (Shelford 1900), during which he and/or his field assistants probably collected the holotype female specimen (see also Bott 1970; Ng 1989).

Ng (1989) had identified a red crab photographed by Gerald Cubitt in Bako National Park as possibly being T. kuchingensis  , but recent collections have showed all known Terrathelphusa  species from the Kuching region do not have this appearance or colour (see below). The Bako crab is actually very similar to Thelphusula cristicervix (Ng & Grinang, 2004)  from Sama Jaya Nature Reserve in Kuching (see Grinang & Ng 2014). In light of the present revision, most of the specimens that had been identified as T. kuchingensis  by Ng & Grinang (2004) are here referred to another taxon, T. kundong  n. sp.


Mycotheca Universitatis Taurinensis


Zoological Reference Collection, National University of Singapore














Terrathelphusa kuchingensis (Nobili, 1901)

Grinang, Jongkar & Ng, Peter K. L. 2015


Potamon (Geothelphusa) kuchingensis

Nobili 1901: 5


Potamon (Geothelphusa) bürgeri

De Man 1899