03 October 2012

Feather star crab and more about the Neptune's cup sponge

An interesting crab Harrovia longipes that lives in a feather star has been found in Singapore.
Also, a  fascinating insight into the history of the recently rediscovered 'Neptune's cup sponge' are among the articles recently uploaded on Nature in Singapore of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research.

Harrovia longipes was last recorded from Singapore waters in the 1990s, and there had been no collections or reported sightings since then. The present record shows that it is still found in its type locality where it appears to be uncommon.

Read more in Tan, H. H., 2012. A recent Singapore record of the crinoid crab, Harrovia longipes Lanchester (Crustacea: Brachyura: Pilumnidae). Nature in Singapore, 5: 237–240. [PDF, 670 KB]

Also a fascinating insight into the history of the recently rediscovered 'Neptune's cup sponge'. It was the the first species of sponge to be described (and recorded) from Singapore, in 1822 when it was described as a 'sponge plant' and "gigantic in all its parts" thus "a more appropriate specific distinction may perhaps be given to this, in denominating it Spongia patera, the goblet sponge." Another interesting historical feature is that the year 1819, when the 'sponge plant from the shores of Singapore', Cliona patera, was first 'unveiled' to the world at the Asiatic Society‘s meeting holds other significance—it was the year of the founding of the modern state of Singapore (Corlett, 1992: 411).

The article highlights how the rediscovery of this sponge and "as several recent publications show, the habitats in and around Singapore waters continue to yield many natural history surprises.

Read more in Low, M. E. Y., 2012. The date of publication of Cliona patera (Hardwicke), the ‘sponge plant from the shores of Singapore’ (Porifera: Hadromerida: Clionaidae). Nature in Singapore, 5: 223–227. [PDF, 358 KB]

This is just a selection of some of the many fascinating paper on the Nature in Singapore website of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, the National  University of Singapore. 

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