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The coral genus Caulastraea Dana, 1846 (Scleractinia, Merulinidae) as a new host for gall crabs (Decapoda, Cryptochiridae), with the description of Lithoscaptus tuerkayi sp. nov.

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A new gall crab species is described from the stony coral genus Caulastraea, a new host coral genus for Cryptochiridae crabs. Specimens were collected during fieldwork off Kudat (Malaysian Borneo) and Okinawa (Japan). Further material was retrieved from the collections of the Institute of Oceanography in Nha Trang (Vietnam). The new species, here named Lithoscaptus tuerkayi sp. nov., is the tenth assigned to the genus in which it is tentatively placed. It can be separated from its congeners by the strongly demarcated, inverted V-shaped protuberance flanking the mesogastric region, with denuded spots on the anterolateral sides of this inverted V-shape, as well as the denuded area just below the frontal margin. Based on morphology and COI sequence data, the closest species to L. tuerkayi sp. nov. is determined to be Lithoscaptus helleri (Fize & Serène, 1957).

Affiliations: 1: 1Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PW, U.K. ; 2: 2Linacre College, St Cross Road, Oxford OX1 3JA, UK ; 3: 3Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Darwinweg 2, NL-2333 CR Leiden, The Netherlands


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