Zoological Studies

Vol. 61, 2022

(update: 2022.9.29)

First Record of the Genus Pseudohelice Sakai, Türkay & Yang, 2006 from India and Description of a New Pseudocryptic Species (Crustacea: Brachyura: Varunidae)

Mani Prema1,§, Jhih-Wei Hsu2,§, Hsi-Te Shih2,3, and Samuthirapandian Ravichandran1,4,*

1Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology, Annamalai University, Parangipettai – 608 502, Tamil Nadu, India. E-mail: premacas196@gmail.com (Prema)
2Department of Life Science, National Chung Hsing National Chung Hsing University, 250 Kuo Kuang Road, Taichung 402, Taiwan. E-mail: rghsn550327@yahoo.com.tw (Hsu)

3Research Center for Global Change Biology, National Chung Hsing University, 250 Kuo Kuang Road, Taichung 402, Taiwan. *Correspondence: E-mail: htshih@dragon.nchu.edu.tw (Shih)
4Government Thirumagal Mills College, Gudiyatham, 635 803, Tamil Nadu, India. *Correspondence: E-mail: sravicas@gmail.com (Ravichandran)

§MP and JWH contributed equally to this paper.
Received 4 March 2022 / Accepted 26 July 2022
Communicated by Benny K.K. Chan

A new pseudocryptic species of the varunid crab genus Pseudohelice Sakai, Türkay & Yang, 2006, is described from India based on morphological and molecular evidence. The new species was collected from higher intertidal zones in the Vellar River estuary, Tamil Nadu, southeastern India, in a habitat composed of muddy and sandy sediment. Pseudohelice annamalai n. sp. is similar to P. subquadrata (Dana, 1851) and P. latreillii (H. Milne Edwards, 1837) in general form, but can be distinguished from the congeners by the characters of the infraorbital ridges, male first gonopod, and female vulvae. In addition, the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I sequences also support the new species. The occurrence of Pseudohelice from India links the distribution gap between the western Indian Ocean and western Pacific Ocean. The new species provides additional evidence for the geographic isolation of the eastern Indian Ocean for some marine organisms.

Key words: Mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I, Morphology, Pseudohelice annamalai, Taxonomy, Tamil Nadu.

Citation: Prema M, Hsu JW, Shih HT, Ravichandran S. 2022. First record of the genus Pseudohelice Sakai, Türkay & Yang, 2006 from India and description of a new pseudocryptic species (Crustacea: Brachyura: Varunidae). Zool Stud 61:56. doi:10.6620/ZS.2022.61-56.