New record of Thalassina spinosa (Crustacea: Decapoda:
Gebiidea: Thalassinidae) from the Philippines

Agatha Maxine B. Bedi1,* and Jurgenne H. Primavera2

1Camp John Hay, Baguio City, Philippines
2Zoological Society of London - Philippines, La Paz, Iloilo City, Philippines

*Corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




The mud lobster Thalassina spinosa Ngoc-Ho and de Saint Laurent, 2009 is reported  for the first time in the Philippines based on material collected from a mangrove swamp of  Ibajay, Aklan in Panay Island. It is the third species of the genus Thalassina recorded from the country. Although burrowing activities of the Thalassina species create volcano-like mounds that are commonly seen in coastal areas, their species are very little known in the country.  Four plots, each measuring 10 m x 10 m, were laid out in the 44-ha Katunggan It Ibajay Eco-Park (KII) which is situated inside a 70-ha mangrove patch with 27 mangrove species in the villages of Naisud and Bugtong-Bato. Juvenile specimens of T. spinosa and T. anomala specimens were obtained from the same plot located in a mixed forest along the banks of the main tidal creek. The mud lobsters’ mounds ranged from 2 cm to 30 cm in height and 4 cm to 15 cm in width. All T. spinosa specimens showed a spinose carapace and an armed cervical groove. Diagnostic characters and geographical distribution of T. spinosa are briefly discussed.



Among decapod crustaceans, the family Thalassinidae is classified in the infraorder Gebiidea. Thalassina Latreille, 1806 is the sole genus belonging to the family and commonly called mud lobsters. It contains ten species from the Indo-West Pacific region (Lin et al. 2016): T. anomala Herbst, 1804; T. australiensis Sakai and Türkey, 2012; T. gracilis Dana, 1852; T. kelanang Moh and Chong, 2009; T. krempfi Ngoc-Ho and de Saint Laurent, 2009; T. pratas Lin, Komai & Chan, 2016; T. saetichelis Sakai and Türkey, 2012; T. spinirostris Ngoc-Ho and de Saint Laurent, 2009; T. spinosa Ngoc-Ho and de Saint Laurent, 2009 and T. squamifera De Man, 1915.
Species of Thalassina are shy and inhabit in burrows found in littoral and infra-littoral zones (Holthius 1991), but their large mounds can be easily recognized. The mounds are often associated with mangrove swamps or mangrove forests (Sankolli 1963). Ng and Kang (1988) noted that T. anomala seemed to develop a tolerance to the noxious anaerobic mangrove mud. Their constant digging and burrowing activities, however, aerate the mangrove soil, bring fresh mud to the surface, and thus play a role in the recycling of nutrients in the mangrove ecosystem. . . . . read more



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