According to National Geographic, a new study confirms that two species of vampire crabs — which are already popular as pets — are previously uncatalogued by scientists.
Vampire crabs, so named for their bright yellow Nosferatu eyes, have become popular as pets among aquarium hobbyists in recent years. Their small size, freshwater habitat, and vibrant, bomb-ass colors make them appealing to collectors. Researchers, however, didn’t know if the two most popular types of crab were new species or even where they came from.
A team of German researchers tracked the crabs’ (PDF) origin to two river valleys on the Indonesian island of Java and were able to confirm that the crabs were previously undiscovered by science. One species, Geosesarma dennerle, has beet-purple coloring, and the other, Geosesarma hagen, has a fiery shell and claws.
(Photos: Chris Lukhapu)