Research Report

Species of the Genus Munida Leach, 1820, (Crustaea: Decapoda: Galatheidae), Occurring off Thoothukudi Coast of Gulf of Mannar and in Adjacent Waters, India  

Vaitheeswaran Thiruvengadam
Assistant General Manager, Research and Development, Quality Control, New Drug Discovery, Marine Invertebrate Division, Cancer Drugs; Rarbio Energies Private Limited #311/2, Vellalar Street, Mel Ayanambakkam, Chennai-600 95, Tamil Nadu, 600023, India
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Aquaculture, 2016, Vol. 6, No. 14   doi: 10.5376/ija.2016.06.0014
Received: 11 May, 2016    Accepted: 16 Aug., 2016    Published: 16 Aug., 2016
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Vaitheeswaran T., 2016, Species of the Genus Munida Leach, 1820, (Crustaea: Decapoda: Galatheidae), Occurring off Thoothukudi Coast of Gulf of Mannar and in Adjacent Waters, India, International Journal of Aquaculture, 6(14): 1-7 (doi: 10.5376/ija.2016.06.0014)

Abstract

The squat lobster; Munida semoni Ortmann, 1894 was recorded for the first time from the Indian Ocean (Gulf of Mannar in adjacent waters) is described and illustrated, during March, 2015. One specimen of the said species was collected as an incidental catch in the deep sea trawl fisheries off Thoothukudi coast of Gulf of Mannar, between 08º 35' 22.5" N lat. 78º 27' 40.9" E long and 08º 31' 91.2" N lat. 78º 25' 32.7"E long at a depth of 305-310 m. The total number of squat lobsters from India now rose to 53. The present records show its extended distribution from Gulf of Mannar to Indonesia, New Caledonia and further to South West Pacific (Futuna Island).

Keywords
Munida semoni; Munididae; Thoothukudi coast; Gulf of Mannar; Indian coast

1 Introduction

The squat lobsters include six recognized families (Chirostylidae, Eumunididae, Kiwaidae, Galatheidae, Munididae and Munidopsidae) in two super families (Chirostyloidea and Galatheioidea) of decapods crustaceans within the infraorder Anomura (Ahyong et al., 2010; Schnabel). Taxonomic and ecological interest in squat lobsters has grown considerably over the last two decades. The squat lobster genus Munida Leach, 1820 is most species-rich in the Galatheoidea, represented by 265 species worldwide (Baba et al., 2008; Macpherson, 2009; Cabezas et al., 2009; Hendrickx and Ayon Parente, 2010; Komai, 2011a; Komai, 2011b). Most species of Munida are from shelf and slope depths. The approximately 930 described species of squat lobsters are known form a wide range of depths (littoral to abyssal) and exhibit a worldwide distribution (Macpherson et al., 2010). The majority of genera have a limited overall vertical range, 31 genera are restricted to within a 1000 m depth band. Fifteen of these genera across all families comprise entirely of shallow-water species (<400 m), the chirostyloid genera Chirostylus and Hapaloptyx and the galatheoid genera Allogalathea, Allomunida, Anomoeomunida, Cervimunida, Coralliogalathea, Fennerogalathea, Lauriea, Macrothea, Nanogalathea, Neonida, Pleuroncodes, Setanida, and Sadayoshia. Records for a further twelve galatheoid genera remain within the upper 1000 m (Alainius, Babamunida, Bathymunida, Crosnierita, Heteronida, Janetogalathea, Onconida, Paramunida, Plesionida, Raymunida, Tasmanida and Torbenella). The remaining 17 genera include the most speciose taxa (Munida, Munidopsis and Uroptychus) and are recorded from deeper than 1000 m. These deep-water genera have a wide bathymetric range that includes both shelf and slope species and, in the case of Munidopsis and Galacantha, also abyssal species (with a depth range of 5–5330 m and 404–3212 m, respectively). Therefore, nearly all genera contain some shallow-water species even if the overall depth range reaches to considerable depth. Exceptions are the monotypic deep-sea genera Pseudomunida (Chirostyloidea: Eumunididae) and the hydrothermal vent Shinkaia (Galatheoidea: Munidopsidae) that are known only from few locations within a very limited depth band (Baba et al., 2008).

 

Taxonomical studies on the Chirostylid and Galatheid lobsters of India are dealt with by Alcock (1894 and 1901), Alcock and Anderson (1895), Doflein and Balss (1913a), George and Rao (1966), Rao (1974), Tirmizi and Javed (1993), Thirumilu, (2011), Vaitheeswaran and Venkataramani (2012); Vaitheeswaran (2014); Vaitheeswaran (2015). A total of 53 species (11 from Family: Chirostylidae and 41 from Family Munididae) are recorded, mostly from the deeper waters of Lakshadweep Sea, Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea, while a single galatheid lobster Munidopsis regia Alcock and Anderson, 1894 and Munida curvipes  has been reported for the first time in Indian coast at Gulf of Mannar.

 

While examining the crustacean catches landed by larger trawlers, which operated in deeper waters off Thoothukudi, one specimen of squat lobsters was obtained. On closer examination, it was identified as Munida semoni Ortmann, 1894 and it was new to Thoothukudi waters. Thus, the total number of squat lobsters from India now rose to 53. The taxonomic and systematic position of the present species reported here is followed the new classification given by Baba (2005) for the Superfamily Galatheoidea. The present record from Thoothukudi coast of Gulf of Mannar is the first specimen from the coast of main land.

 

Superfamily: Galatheoidea Samouelle, 1819

Family: Galatheidae Samouelle Ahyong, 2010

Genus: Munida Whiteaves, 1874

Munida semoni Ortmann, 1894

Borradaile, 1900

Barnard, 1950

Kensley, 1981a

Macpherson and Baba, 1993

Macpherson, 1994; 1996a; 1999a; 2004

Baba, 2005

 

  

Figure 1 Location of thoothukudi coast of gulf of mannar, southeast coast of India

 

2 Materials and Methods

2.1 Materials examined

One specimen (total length 52 mm; carapace length 17 mm; weighing about 5 gm) collected from Thoothukudi beach between 08º 35' 22.5" N lat. 78º 27' 40.9" E long and 08º 31' 91.2"N lat. 78º 25' 32.7"E long at a depth of 305-310 m (Figure 1), Thoothukudi district, TamilNadu, India (Figure 2Figure 3; Figure 4; Figure 5; Figure 6). The reference materials are deposited in the museum collections of the Department of New Drug Discovery (Marine Invertebrate Division), RARBIO Energies Private Limited, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

 

  

Figure 2 Munida semoni Ortmann, 1894

 

  

Figure 3 Munida semoni Ortmann, 1894 Carapace

 

  

Figure 4 Munida curvipes BENEDICT, 1902

 

  

Figure 5 Munida semoni Ortmann 1894-Ventral view of cephalic region, showing antennular and antennal peduncles

 

  

Figure 6 Munida semoni Ortmann, 1894

 

2.2 Distribution

The present record of this species is collected from the incidental by-catch in the trawl catch off Thoothukudi coast of Gulf of Mannar from India. Munida semoni is widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific from Indonesia, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Futuna islands 180-440 m (Macpherson and Baba, 1993; Macpherson, 1996a; Macpherson, 1999b); Fiji and Tonga, 135-417 m.

 

2.3 Diagnostics

The specimen examined agrees quite well with the original description and figures provided by Baba (1988) (Figure 2). Carapace, excluding rostrum, slightly longer than wide (Figure 3). Transverse ridges mostly interrupted. Secondary striae present Epigastric region with row of 6 pairs of spines flanking 2 unpaired spines behind rostrum, largest pair directly behind supraocular spines. Fourth thoracic sternite with several short arcuate striae; fifth to seventh sternites without striae and granules (Figure 6). Pereopod 1 and 2 are absent.

 

2.4 Description

Ground colour of carapace and abdomen light orange, with large reddish spots scattered on dorsal surfaces. Rostrum and supraocular spines light orange. Chelipeds and walking legs with reddish and whitish bands. Base of fingers whitish; distal part of carpus, merus and hand reddish.

 

2.5 Remarks

The specimens examined agree quite well with the original description and figures provided by Baba (1988) (Figure 2), identical to Munida heteracantha Ortmann. In the type material examined of M. semoni, however, the granules on the seventh thoracic sternite, characteristic of M. heteracantha are absent. M. semoni is close to M. oritea sp. Nov. from the Philippines and M. striola sp. Nov. from Japan and Indonesia.

 

One specimen (total length 52 mm; carapace length 17 mm; weighing about 5 gm) collected from Thoothukudi beach between 08º 35' 22.5" N lat. 78º 27' 40.9" E long and 08º 31' 91.2"N lat. 78º 25' 32.7"E long at a depth of 305-310 m, Thoothukudi district, TamilNadu, India. They show the second abdominal segment unarmed, the thoracic sternites moderately squamate, the distomesial spine of the basal anternnal segment overreaching the third segment, and the merus of the third maxilliped bearing a distinct spine on the extensor distal margin.

 

2.6 Colour

Ground colour of carapace and abdomen light orange, with large reddish spots scattered on dorsal surfaces. Rostrum and supraocular spines light orange. Chelipeds and walking legs with reddish and whitish bands. Base of fingers whitish; distal part of carpus, merus and hand reddish (Macpherson, 2004).

 

Acknowledgements

The author is thankful to Thiru M. Kathirvel, former Principal Scientist of Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (I.C.A.R.), Chennai, for critical reading of the manuscript and helpful suggestion for its improvement. Dr. K. Baba, Professor, Kumamoto University, Japan, has provided me with literature on squat lobsters taxonomy. I wish to thank Thiru. K. Deenadhayalan, my friend and Professional photographer, Trichy, India, for their photograph of this specimen.

 

References 

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