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Crustaceans and others

Diversity and ecology of the freshwater crabs in Veragua Rainforest

Authors: Dr. Ingo Wehrtmann (Museo de Zoología, Escuela de Biología, Universidad de Costa Rica); Dr. Célio Magalhães (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Manaus, AM, Brazil) celiomag@inpa.gov.br; Dr. Fernando Mantelatto (Department of Biology University of São Paulo (USP)) flmantel@usp.br  Dayan Martin Hernández Díaz (Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, University id: 2009030124) dayan88nona@

The Central American region is home to a diverse fauna of Freshwater crabs (Crustacea, Decapoda, Brachyura), mainly representatives of the family Pseudothelphusidae. In Costa Rica there are several publications on these crabs and more recently, Lara et al. (in press) described the taxonomic diversity and distribution of freshwater crabs in Térraba-Sierpe, Pacific side of Costa Rica. These authors found a total of eight species divided into three genera of the family Pseudothelphusidae, representing 53% of the 15 species currently reported for Costa Rica.

In Costa Rica there are several papers on taxonomy of freshwater crabs, but its ecology is practically unknown, the same situation occurs worldwide with most of these freshwater decapods. The agreement between the School of Biology and Veragua Foundation is an excellent opportunity for ecological studies of freshwater crabs in the reserve, taking advantage of the excellent facilities and the scientific staff of the Veragua Rainforest Reserve.

This is a bilateral project (Costa Rica – Brazil) with financial support from CONICIT (Costa Rica) and CNPq (Brazil). This study aims to make a comparison in both countries of the different factors that influence the ecology of freshwater decapods. Therefore, it is possible to have the active participation of Dr. Célio Magalhães, a recognized expert in the taxonomy of freshwater crabs in Latin America, a great help to identify the crabs to the species level. This research is enrolled at the University of Costa Rica (Vice-Rector of Research No. 808-B3-504, researcher responsible: Dr. Ingo Wehrtmann).

General objective

  • Describe the taxonomic diversity and ecological aspects of species of freshwater crabs of the Veragua Rainforest Reserve

Specific objectives:

  • Identify species of freshwater crabs collected in Veragua
  • Prepare maps of the presence of different species of crabs in the reserve
  • Describe presence and abundance of crabs during a year.
  • Determine periods of reproduction and recruitment of the freshwater crabs in Veragua´s Reserve.
  • Establish a reference collection for the reserve and deposit the material in the collection of the Museum of Zoology, University of Costa Rica
  • Share the results at national and international level.

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