Deep within the rainforests on Thailand’s Adang island, scientists recently discovered a bewildering new species: purple crabs.
The crabs, known as Demanietta Sunthorni, were found in various parts of the island, co-authors Vachira Lheknim, P. Leelawathanagoon and Peter K. L. Ng, wrote in a study published May 31 in Raffles Bulletin of Zoology.
The species varies in size, with bigger creatures discovered about 65 feet from freshwater streams in the forest, burrowed beneath huge rocks, the study said. Smaller variations of the species were found among the stones and rocks that make up the beds of large streams.
Researchers said the species is only known to exist near freshwater creeks on Adang island.
The Demanietta Sunthorni have low, flat backs and shells, unlike similar species that have a more arched and rounded back, the authors said. The crab is also characterized by its dark purple back and legs. The rest of its body is a reddish brown color.
The authors said they named the crab after one of their former undergraduate professors “who taught the first author the beauty of science and how it works.”
Adang Island is off the western coast of Thailand.