NEW RECORDS AND DISTRIBUTION PATTERN OF BRACHYURAN CRABS IN CHILIKA LAGOON, ODISHA, INDIADillip Sahoo, S.K. Palita, S. Panda and B.C. Guru
Chilika lagoon in the state of Odisha, India, the largest brackish water lagoon in Asian continent is well known due to its unique biodiversity and fishery resources. In the present study a sector wise inventorial survey on brachyuran crabs was conducted during June 2007 to May 2008. The survey recorded a total of 21 species of crabs belonging 16 genera and 8 families. Out of which 9 species of crabs belonging to 8 genera under 9 families are new records. For the first time 6 new genera of crabs are described, out of which one species Parthenopus echinatus was reported under a new Family Parthenopidae. With these new records the total number of crabs recorded from Chilika lagoon comes to 44 species represented under 10 families and 30 genera. The diversity index was observed to be the highest (2.741) in the Outer channel sector followed by Southern sector (2.229), Northern sector (1.919), and Central sector (1.847). The outer Channel sector showed highest percentage of abundance (36.77%) of crabs followed by Southern sector (23.70%), Central sector (22.57%) and lowest in Northern sector (17.78%). Brachyuran crab family Portunidae showed highest diversity index (1.6985) as well as maximum abundance (66.106%). Highest similarity in crab diversity was observed in Northern and Central sector (80) of the lagoon. These findings are expected to be helpful in future planning related to crab fishing as well as conservation strategies to be adopted in Chilika lagoon.
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