Crabs of Christmas Island
Infra-order Brachyura, Family Gecarcinidea
A revision of the D. hirtipes species-group using morphological and genetic data showed that the species could be divided into three distinct species; with the Indian Ocean population belonging to an undescribed taxon. The examination of the taxa in the species-group led carcinologists to formally describe the former “Discoplax aff. hirtipes” as a new species which they have named Discoplax magna.
Recent further re-examination of the taxonomy of Gecarcinidae resulted in an unexpected outcome. A new genus Tuerkayana n. gen. was established to accommodate two species previously assigned to Cardisoma plus two species previously regarded as Discoplax: T. celeste (Ng & Davie, 2012) n. comb. and T. magnum (Ng & Shih, 2014) n, comb.
The Orange-legged crab of Christmas Island is now known as Tuerkayana magnum (Ng & Shih, 2014)
Orange-legged crab | Tuerkayana magnum Ng & Shih, 2014
Large crab up to 90mm wide carapace. Legs vary from light orange brown to cinnabar red; are covered with short thick hairs. Juveniles carapaces are more bluish-green and more angular. Claws have orange colouring similar to legs.
Usually found in drier karstic habitats, often far from surface water or seepages, and their burrows are often dug next to rocks. On Christmas Island has been found at Waterfall Bay, Dolly Beach track and at The Dales within blue crab colonies.
Read more about Christmas Island's orange-legged crabs in the book
"Crabs of Christmas Island" by Max Orchard