Global Diversity and Conservation of Freshwater Crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura)

  • Neil CumberlidgeEmail author


The global diversity of the almost 1400 species of primary brachyuran freshwater crabs that spend their entire lives in freshwater habitats is outlined, along with that of 220 species of secondary brachyuran freshwater crabs that spend part of their life in fresh water and part in salt water. Estimates of freshwater crab diversity based on the current rates of discovery and levels of exploration indicate that the field is still in a growth phase, and it is likely that there are a substantial number of undescribed taxa. The distribution pattern of the brachyuran freshwater crab families across zoogeographic regions is discussed, and the conservation status and current threats to the group are highlighted. It is likely that a greater proportion of the global fauna of freshwater crabs is actually threatened with extinction than is currently realized.


Primary and secondary freshwater crabs Red List Species estimates Data deficiency 



The author would like to recognise the outstanding role played by Dr. Tadashi Kawai in the success of this volume. He initiated this project, recruited a balanced team of highly qualified specialists from around the world to contribute, and organised two symposia on freshwater decapod conservation issues in Frankfurt, Germany and Sapporo, Japan, in the same year (2014). He is also thanked for his part in editing all of the chapters in this work. Finally, together with all of the authors in this volume, I am grateful to Dr. Tadashi for securing the funding that has made this project possible.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyNorthern Michigan UniversityMarquetteUSA

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