03 September 2010

Snake eats crab - a first report in natural conditions

If you had no hands, it can be tricky to catch and eat a crab!
So it's fascinating to read Paul Zijian Chen's article which shares the first reported in-situ observation of a Gerard’s water snake (Gerarda prevostiana) eating a crab under natural conditions.

To find out more, read his article in the Nature in Singapore of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, which includes a video clip! Chen, P. Z., 2010. "An observation of crab predation by a Gerard’s water snake, Gerarda prevostiana (Reptilia: Squamata: Homalopsidae) in the wild at Sungei Buloh, Singapore." Nature in Singapore, 3: 195–197. [PDF, 141 KB] Download video clip here (4.64 MB)

The latest issue of the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology is also out! RBZ 58(2): 173–415. 31 August 2010

Among the many interesting papers in it is one about our flower crabs! Joelle C. Y. Lai shares that there are four species of flower crabs. The ones in our part of the world (Southeast and East Asia) remains Portunus pelagicus. But similar crabs found elsewhere comprise three other different species.

The males and females look different. Here's the male crabs.
And the female crabs.
Read more about this in "A revision of the Portunus pelagicus (Linnaeus, 1758) species complex (Crustacea: Brachyura: Portunidae), with the recognition of four species". Joelle C. Y. Lai, Peter K. L. Ng & Peter J. F. Davie. Pp. 199–237 [pdf, 1.91 MB]

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