, Volume 595, Issue 1, pp 275-286
Date: 18 Dec 2007

Global diversity of crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura) in freshwater

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Abstract

An assessment of the global freshwater crab diversity is presented. A total of 1,476 species in 14 families are currently known from all zoogeographical regions (except Antarctica), including 1,306 species in eight exclusively freshwater families (Pseudothelphusidae, Trichodactylidae, Potamonautidae, Deckeniidae, Platythelphusidae, Potamidae, Gecarcinucidae and Parathelphusidae). Estimates of true freshwater crab diversity including likely numbers of undescribed taxa suggest that the field remains largely in a “discovery” phase. Main ideas on the origins, diversification, and phylogeny of true freshwater crabs are briefly discussed. The economic importance of freshwater crabs is also highlighted.

Guest editors: E. V. Balian, C. Lévêque, H. Segers & K. Martens
Freshwater Animal Diversity Assessment