Note On The Genus Munida Leach, 1820, and Description of Munida Curvipes Benedict, 1902 (Crustaea: Decapoda: Galatheidae), off Thoothukudi Coast of Gulf of Mannar, India (08º 35′ 22.5″ N lat. 78º 27′ 40.9″ E long and 08º 31′ 91.2″ N lat. 78º 25′ 32.7″ E) (310 M)  

T. Vaitheeswaran
Assistant General Manager, Research and Development, Quality Control, New Drug Discovery, Marine Invertebrate Division, Cancer Drugs, Rarbio Energies Private Limited, Tamil Nadu, India
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Aquaculture, 2015, Vol. 5, No. 43   doi: 10.5376/ija.2015.05.0043
Received: 01 Oct., 2015    Accepted: 12 Nov., 2015    Published: 22 Apr., 2016
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Vaitheeswaran T., 2015, Note on the Genus Munida Leach, 1820, and Description of Munida Curvipes Benedict, 1902 (Crustaea: Decapoda: Galatheidae), off Thoothukudi Coast of Gulf of Mannar, India (08º 35’ 22.5” N lat. 78º 27’ 40.9” E long and 08º 31’ 91.2” N lat. 78º 25’ 32.7”E) (310 M), International Journal of Aquaculture, 5(43): 1-5 


The squat lobster; Munida curvipes Benedict, 1902 was recorded for the first time from the Indian main land coast while investigating the biodiversity of the squat lobster of Gulf of Mannar during December, 2013. 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 present records show its extended distribution from Gulf of Mannar to east of Andamans and further to South Pacific Ocean, Chile. The total number of squat lobsters from India now rose to 52. These results point up the high diversity of this genus in the region and the importance of several characters in species identification (e.g., size and number of lateral spines on the carapace, ornamentation of the thoracic sternites, and size of antennular and antennal spines, colour pattern).

Munida curvipes; Munididae; Thoothukudi coast; Gulf of Mannar

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 and Ahyong, 2010). 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; Cabezas et al., 2011; 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).
Taxonomical studies on the Chirostylid  and Galatheid lobsters of India are dealt with by  Alcock (1894 & 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) and Vaitheeswaran (2014).
A total of 52 species (11 from Family: Chirostylidae and 40 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, Eumunida funambulus (Gordon, 1930), Agononida eminens (Baba, 1988), Munida heteracantha (Ortmann, 1892) and Munidopsis cylindrophthalma (Alcock, 1894)  has been reported from Gulf of Mannar, India, by Vaitheeswaran and Venkataramani  (2012) and Vaitheeswaran (2014). Published records of ranges of decapod crustaceans are scattered through expedition reports, monographs, systematic papers, and short notes. After the discovery of numerous undescribed species during Thoothukudi coast of Gulf of Mannar and Kollam, Kerala, west coast of India the genus has been split into 3 genera: Agononida, Munida and Munidopsis (Vaitheeswaran and Venkataramani, 2012) and Vaitheeswaran (2014). The family chirostylidae is also under study and numerous new species will be added to the Thoothukudi coast of Gulf of Mannar, Southeast-west coast of India (Vaitheeswaran, 2014). The material studied was collected in trawl nets by a fishing vessel, and the reference material Munida curvipes Benedict, 1902 are deposited in the museum collections of the Department of New Drug Discovery (Marine Invertebrate Division), Rarbio Energies Private Limited, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. The specimen were measured and sexed, and one of them was illustrated and described.
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 curvipes and it was new to Thoothukudi waters.  Thus, the total number of squat lobsters from India now rose to 52. 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: 57-68
Genus: Munida Whiteaves, 1874
Munida curvipes Benedict, 1902: 254, figure. 6
Haig, 1955: 38
Retamal, 1981: 22
Wicksten, 1989: 315 (listed)
Hendrickx, 2000: 164, table. 1
Retamal and Jara, 2002: 206 (listed)
Hendrickx, 2003a: 116, figure. 1
Baba, 2005: 261
2 Materials Examined
One male specimen (total length 29 mm; carapace length 16 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 (Figure 1Figure 2Figure 3, and Figure 4). 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 1 Munida curvipes BENEDICT, 1902



Figure 2 Munida curvipes BENEDICT, 1902 Carapace



Figure 3 Munida curvipes BENEDICT, 1902, right cheliped, dorsal view



Figure 4 Munida curvipes BENEDICT, 1902, upper part of Sternum


3 Remarks
The specimens examined agree quite well with the original description and figures provided by Benedict (1902).  Carapace with distinct transverse striae, very setose; secondary striae reduced in branchial regions (Figure 2). Cervical groove well marked. Pterygostomian flap narrow, not inflated. Two pairs of epigastric spines, the anterior pair the strongest and more closely set than the posterior pair which is smaller. A small parahepatic spine. A pair of small anterobranchial spines, the anteriormost very small. Frontal margin transversally oblique. Lateral margin (right) slightly convex. Rostrum of type broken, narrow at base. Supraocular spines short, slightly diverging, overreaching anterior margin of cornea. Anterolateral spines sharp, shorter than supraocular spines and not reaching the level of the sinus between rostrum and supraocular spines. Anterior branchial margin armed with 3 long, sharp spines, the anterior slightly longer; posterior branchial margin armed with 2 slightly curved spines; 6 spines on lateral margins of entire carapace (excluding anterolateral). Sternal plastron (sternites 3-7) wider than long; third thoracic sternite projected anteriorly; fourth sternite very narrow anteriorly, its length less than 1/2 its width; surface of sternite 4-7 punctate; sternites 5 to 7 with transverse ridges obtuse, strongly granulated. Second abdominal segment with three pairs of strong, sharp dorsal spines, two lateral pairs and one central, the later stronger. Third and fourth abdominal segments without spines. Eyes small, their cornea diameter about equal to length of supraocular spines and less than 1/3 the distance between the base of anterolateral spines. Distal spines of antennular basal segment subequal, the distolateral slightly longer; two lateral spines (inner damaged), the outer spine the same length as the distomesial spine, the inner spine apparently much longer (projected) (Figure 1 and Figure 2). First (basal) segment of antennal peduncle with a sharp distomesial spine reaching end of second segment; second segment with sharp distolateral and distomesial spines, the  later reaching about midlength of third segment; a sharp, short distal spine on lateral margin of third and fourth segments. Ischium and merus of third maxilliped of about same length; ischium with a distoventral spine; merus with two strong spines on flexor margin; extensor margin unarmed. Chelipeds and walking legs squamous. Chelipeds strong, wide, about twice as long as carapace (including rostrum), with rows of strong spines on all joints; spines particularly strong on distal half of merus and upper margin of carpus; merus with one row of strong, sharp spines dividing into two rows in distal third, two ventral parallel rows of medium to small spines, and one row of spines on each lateral side; carpus stout, longer than 1/2 merus length, about same length as dactylus: fingers shorter than propodus (palm); manus with an outer row of spines in addition to dorsal and ventral rows; fingers with spines on proximal part (Figure 3). Pereiopods very slender. Second pereiopod with strong spines along the upper edge of merus and carpus; lower edge of merus with less numerous, medium to small size spines, except the most distal one which are longer; carpus without ventral spines, except for one sharp distal spine; propodus about 3/4 merus length, without dorsal spines and with movable spinules on the ventral margin; dactylus about 2/3 propodus length, flexor margin spinulated.
4 Colour
Body yellowish-brown to orange-red; abdominal somites 5–6 and telson whitish; rostrum bordered by white or light brown band; pereopods light brown, dactyli whitish by Macpherson (2007).
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.
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