Four new species of freshwater purple crab found in Philippines.
(PHYSORG)- Four new species of freshwater crab, bright purple in colour, have been discovered in the biologically diverse but ecologically-threatened Philippines, the man who found them said Saturday.
The tiny crustaceans burrow under boulders and roots in streams, feeding on dead plants, fruits, carrion and small animals in the water at night, said Hendrik Freitag of Germany's Senckenberg Museum of Zoology.
Found only in small, lowland-forest ecosystems in the Palawan island group, most have purple shells, with claws and legs tipped red.
"It is known that crabs can discriminate colours. Therefore, it seems likely that the colouration has a signal function for the social behaviour, e.g. mating," Freitag told AFP by email on Saturday.