Biodiversity of hermit crabs in Odisha, east coast and their distribution in other coastal states of India
Hermit crabs are one among the least studied group of the animal kingdom. The diversity of hermit crabs of entire Odisha coast was studied for the first time. Collected primary data and secondary data were compiled to prepare an updated checklist of hermit crabs of Indian coast. A total of seven species of hermit crabs were recorded during the field surveys along Odisha coast. The compilation of secondary data with present primary data revealed occurrence of 114 species of hermit crabs belonging to 27 genera and six families along the Indian coast. Diogenidae was identified as the dominant family. The diversity of hermit crabs is high in the west coast (73 species) as compared to the east coast (65 species). Maximum species diversity is recorded in Tamil Nadu (53 species), Kerala (50 species) and in Andaman & Nicobar Islands (46 species). Twenty threes species of hermit crabs inhabit the coastal ecosystems of Odisha. The present study also reports the occurrence of Clibanarius infraspinatus for the first time from Odisha thus, extending its distributional range along the Indian coast. Among the reported 114 species, only 61 species are included in GBIF with Indian distribution whereas occurrence data is not available for 11 species and 42 species are not likely distributed along Indian coast. The findings of the present study support the occurrence of 61 species (included in Global Biodiversity Information Facility) along the Indian coast and suggest that the occurrence and distribution of remaining 53 species can be confirmed after conducting extensive field surveys.
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