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New Crab Species Discovered in Costa Rica

New Crab Species Discovered in Costa Rica

A new species of freshwater crab has been identified by biologists at the University of Costa Rica. Named Allacanthos yawi, it was found last year by Luis Hernandez Lara Rolie during exploration of land for a hydropower project. The crab lives in river habitats and is currently believed to only live in Southern Costa Rica.

The new crabs were found on the banks of the Rio Vulcan 1,000 meters above sea level. Mr. Rolie and his associates were surveying the area for a potential hydropower project. About eighty percent of the nation’s electricity is generated by hydropower. Costa Rica is a mountainous country with very high rainfall in some regions and seasonally. One location actually was documented with 359 days of rainfall in a single year.

The dam project located near the crab’s habitat is called El Diquis and some local people are not too happy with its potential environmental impacts.† In addition, several thousand indigenous and non-indigenous people may be displaced by the dam and lake that will be created by it. If the 630 megawatt dam is built it will be the largest hydropower project in Central America.

“To discover a new species of river crab for the country isnít something that happens often,” said Ingo Wehrtmann a researcher at the University of Costa Rica. (Source: He also said such river species are threatened by pollution, and this one in particular is also threatened by proposed expansion of local pineapple farms.

The male is 2.8 centimeters wide and 1.6 centimeters long; the female is slightly smaller. There are now 18 species of documented river crabs in Costa Rica. The crab’s discovery was documented in the journal Zootaxa, in the September 2010 issue.

Image Credit: Luis Hernandez Lara Rolie

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7:10AM PST on Feb 4, 2013

World is an amazing place, it's 21st century and we keep discovering new species. let's make sure we don't destroy this world with the creatures that are not even discovered by humans....

3:24AM PST on Jan 24, 2013

thank you

4:58PM PST on Dec 15, 2012

this is so cool, wow

10:04AM PDT on Oct 11, 2012


3:31AM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

good news!, thanks for the article!

11:57AM PDT on Jul 5, 2012

Great. Thanks for the article.

11:00AM PDT on Mar 12, 2012

good news for us all.

7:54PM PST on Nov 11, 2011

Interesting. Thanks for the information

8:34AM PST on Dec 26, 2010


6:05PM PST on Dec 12, 2010


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