Corresponding author: Christian Lukhaup ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Academic editor: Sammy De Grave
© 2017 Christian Lukhaup, Rury Eprilurahman, Thomas von Rintelen.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Citation: Lukhaup C, Eprilurahman R, von Rintelen T (2017) Cherax warsamsonicus, a new species of crayfish from the Kepala Burung (Vogelkop) peninsula in West Papua, Indonesia (Crustacea, Decapoda, Parastacidae). ZooKeys 660: 151-167. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.660.11847
A new species, Cherax warsamsonicus sp. n., endemic to the Warsamson River drainage, in the western part of the Kepala Burung (Vogelkop) peninsula, West Papua, Indonesia, is described, figured and compared with its closely related species, Cherax misolicus Holthuis, 1949. The new species may be easily distinguished from C. misolicus by the shape of the rostrum, absence of setae on the rostrum, the shape of the chelae, the presence of 3-4 cervical spines and by using sequence divergence, which is substantial for considering C. warsamsonicus sp. n. to be a new species. The new species is collected and exported for ornamental purposes and its commercial name in the pet trade is Cherax “irian jaya”, Cherax “pink coral”, or Cherax “hoa creek“. Due to similar colouration it is often confused with the recently described Cherax pulcher Lukhaup, 2015.
Cherax, Crustacea, Decapoda, morphology, New Guinea, Parastacidae, pet trade, taxonomy, Warsamson River
The crayfishes of the island of New Guinea were extensively studied by
Cherax misolicus and Cherax warsamsonicus sp. n. may be easily distinguished using sequence divergence, by colouration and pattern of live individuals, by the shape of the chelae, the shape of rostrum, and presence of dense setae on the rostrum in C. misolicus which is absent in the new species.
Samples of Cherax warsamsonicus sp. n. as well as three other species were collected from streams in the southwestern part of the Kepala Burung peninsula in February 2016. In addition, sequence from seven species of Cherax and from two other parastacid genera used as outgroup were downloaded from GenBank (see Table
Material studied with GenBank accession numbers.
|Species/sample||Location||GenBank acc. nos||Source|
|Cherax albertisii||Bensbach River, Papua New Guinea (Queensland Museum)||–||KJ920770||Eprilurahman et al., unpubl.|
|C. boesemani||Ajamaru Lake, Papua Barat; 1°17'19.97"S, 132°14'49.14"E; January 23, 2016||#||#||this study|
|C. holthuisi||Papua Barat||KU821419||KU821433||Blaha et al. 2016|
|C. misolicus||Misool Island, South of Papua Barat (Leiden Museum)||–||KJ920813||Eprilurahman et al., unpubl.|
|C. monticola||Baliem River, Wamena, Papua||KF649851||KF649851||
|C. paniaicus||Lake Tage, Papua (Field collection)||KJ950528||KJ920830||Eprilurahman et al., unpubl.|
|C. peknyi||Pet Shop||KU821422||KU821435||Blaha et al. 2016|
|C. pulcher||Hoa Creek (Teminabuan), Papua Barat; 1°28'32.73"S 132° 3'54.94"E; January 23, 2016||#||#||this study|
|C. pulcher‘||Papua Barat (Pet Shop)||KU821424||KU821438||Blaha et al. 2016|
|KU821426||KU821437||Blaha et al. 2016|
|C. rhynchotus||Lake Wicheura, Cape York, Queensland (Queensland Museum)||–||KJ920765||Eprilurahman et al., unpubl.|
|C. snowden||Oinsok (Ainsok River Drainage), Papua Barat; 1°11'40.07"S 131°50'1.14"E; January 24, 2016||#||#||this study|
|C. warsamsonicus||Small tributary to Warsamson River
Collection Date : January 20 ,2016
|Engaeus strictifrons||Crawford River, Victoria, Australia||AF493633||AF492812||
|Euastacus bispinosus||Crawford River, Victoria, Australia||AF493634||AF492813||
DNA was purified from 2 mm³ of muscle tissue with a Qiagen BioSprint 96 using the manufacturer’s protocol. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to amplify two mitochondrial gene fragments, a ~535 bp region of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene (16S) using primers 1471 and 1472 (
PCR was performed in 25 µl volumes containing 1x Taq buffer, 1.5 mM MgCl2, 200 µM each dNTP, 1 U Taq polymerase, ca. 50-100 ng DNA and ddH2O. After an initial denaturation step of 3 min at 94 °C, cycling conditions were 35 cycles at 94 °C for 35 s, 45 °C (COI) or 50 °C (16S) for 60 s, and 72 °C for 1 min (COI) or 90 s (16S), with a final elongation step of 5 min at 72 °C. The same primers were used in PCR and sequencing. PCR products were sent to Macrogen Europe for purification and cycle sequencing of both strands of each gene.
Sequences were aligned by eye (COI) and with MAFFT (16S) using the G-INS-i strategy suitable for thorough alignments of sequences with global homology (
Phylogenetic trees were reconstructed by maximum parsimony (MP) using the heuristic search algorithm as implemented in PAUP* (
The combined dataset was subjected to a partitioned analysis (ML and BI) using the different models for the two genes in the BI analyses. All new sequences have been deposited in GenBank, see Table
Holotype: male (
Carapace surface smooth with four small spiniform tubercles posterior to cervical groove on lateral carapace. Eyes large, pigmented. Cornea slightly broader than eyestalk. Rostrum lanceolate in shape with excavated margins. Rostral margins with three prominent teeth. Rostral carinae prominent. Postorbital ridges prominent with one acute tubercle at anterior terminus. Uncalcified patch on lateral margin of chelae of adult male white, translucent. Propodal cutting edge with row of small granules and one large tubercle. Chelipeds blue and white with white joints. Fingers blue in distal third black with hooked tips. Other walking legs blue-gray. Pleon black with pinkish-red pattern. Lateral pleura lighter becoming greyish green.
Rostral carinae extending as slight elevation posteriorly on carapace terminating at ending of postorbital ridges. Postorbital ridges well developed, terminating in spiniform tubercle anteriorly, fading at two-thirds of occipital carapace length, posteriorly. Dorsal surface of carapace smooth, slightly pitted, cervical and branchiocardiac grooves distinct, non-setose, one prominent corneous spine and three tubercles present at middle part behind cervical groove on lateral sides of carapace.
Areola length 13.7 mm, narrowest width 7.4 mm. Length of areola 31.8% of total length of carapace (43 mm).
Ventrolateral parts smooth with scattered pits; anterior margin strongly produced, rounded upper margin directed inward.
Cherax warsamsonicus sp. n. holotype male (
Mouthparts typical for the genus. Epistome with subcordiform cephalic lobe anteriorly bearing lanceolate cephalomedian projection constricted at base. Lateral margins of lobe not thickened; each lateral margin with two groups of 8-9 tubercles separated by a smooth place. Central part smooth, not pitted, excavate. Eyes rather large; cornea globular, darkly pigmented, nearly as long as eyestalk; eyestalk slightly narrower than cornea.
First pereopod equal in form, chela slightly gaping, equal in size, right cheliped (39 mm long, 8.2 mm high, 16.5 mm wide). Left chelae (Fig.
Tip with sharp, corneous, hooked tooth pointing outwards at an angle of 45°. Cutting edge of dactyl with continuous row of rather small granular teeth and one prominent larger tooth at middle of cutting edge. Ventral and dorsal surface of movable finger with scattered punctuation. Posterior half of cutting edge with slightly rounded gap. Fixed finger triangular, merging gradually into palm, ending in sharp, corneous, hooked tooth, standing almost perpendicular to axis of finger. Tips of fingers slightly crossing when fingers clasp. Upper surface of palm practically smooth, slightly pitted, more densely pitted at margins. Fixed finger with approximately same width as dactyl at base (7.3 mm). Few scattered short setae present in posterior ventral part of fixed finger. Cutting edge of fixed finger with row of rather small granular teeth at posterior half and one at middle of anterior part.
Dorsal surface of carpus (11.77 mm) smooth and pitted, with slight excavation in middle part and with well-developed acute and hooked spiniform tubercle in middle of dorsolateral inner margin. Ventral carpal surface margins slightly elevated, non-setose and with fovea; inner margin with one acute spiniform tubercle oriented in angle of approx. 45°; outer margin smooth with one spiniform tubercle oriented almost anteriorly.
Cherax warsamsonicus sp. n. holotype male (
Merus (19.2 mm) laterally depressed in basal part; surface slightly pitted; one prominent spine at anterior part at dorsal surface. Row of 12-13 small granules on inner ventrolateral margin, four prominent spines, one at midlength other in middle of anterior part, third on distal ventrolateral outer margin, fourth on distal ventrolateral inner margin.
Ischium (10.8 mm) smooth with small spine and three granules at midlength of ventrolateral inner margin.
Second pereopod reaching anteriorly to approximately middle of scaphocerite. Finger as long as palm (5.6 mm), of same height. Short setae present on dactyl and fixed finger, getting denser anteriorly. Cutting edge of fixed finger and carpus with row of short setae. Carpus, smooth, not pitted, slightly longer than palm. Merus (12.7 mm) 1.7 times longer than carpus (7.2 mm). Ischium (6.2 mm) half as long as merus.
Third pereopod overreaching second by almost length of finger of second pereopods. Fingers shorter than palm.Fourth pereopod reaching distal margin of scaphocerite. Dactylus with corneous tip. Short scattered setae present. Propodus more than twice as long as dactylus, nearly 1.5 times as long as carpus; somewhat flattened, carrying many stiff setae on lower margin. Merus just slightly longer than propodus.
Cherax warsamsonicus sp. n. holotype male (
Fifth pereopod similar to fourth, slightly shorter.
Dorsal surface of pleon smooth, with scattered pits; abdominal segments with short setae present on caudal margins.
Telson with posterolateral spines, dense short setae present in posterior third. Posterior margins setose. Uropodal protopod with distal spine on mesial lobe. Exopod of uropod with transverse row of posteriorly directed diminutive spines ending in one more prominent spine, posteriorly directed on outer margin of mesial lobe. Terminal half of exopod with small tubercles and short hairs, slightly corrugated. Endopod of uropod smooth. Short scattered hairs present on posterior third of dorsal exopod. Postrolateral spine on outer margin present. Second spine on medial dorsal surface present, directed posteriorly.
Size. The biggest male examined has a carapace length of 48.7 mm, and a total length of 109 mm (n = 4) ,the holotype male has a total length of 92,8 mm the other males have a total length of 73mm and 96 mm; the female has a carapace length of 31.8 mm and a total length of 73 mm (n = 1).
Colour. The living animals (Fig.
Cherax warsamsonicus sp. n. clusters with two sequences retrieved from GenBank as C. pulcher and the entire cluster forms a well-supported clade with Cherax misolicus (16S only, Fig.
Phylogenetic position of Cherax warsamsonicus sp. n. within closely related New Guinean Cherax species, reconstructed by BI analyses of two mitochondrial gene fragments. Number on branches show, from top, Bayesian posterior probabilities and ML/MP bootstrap values. The scale bar indicates the substitution rate. See Table
The holotype (
C. albertisii (Nobili, 1899)
C. boesemani Lukhaup & Pekny, 2008
C. boschmai Holthuis, 1949
C. buitendijkae Holthuis, 1949
C. communis Holthuis, 1949
C. divergens Holthuis, 1950
C. gherardii Patoka, Bláha & Kouba, 2015
C. holthuisi Lukhaup & Pekny, 2006
C. lorentzi aruanus (Roux, 1911)
C. lorentzi lorentzi (Roux, 1911)
C. longipes Holthuis, 1949
C. misolicus Holthuis, 1949
C. murido Holthuis, 1949
C. monticola Holthuis, 1950
C. minor Holthuis, 1996
C. peknyi Lukhaup & Herbert, 2008
C. pallidus Holthuis, 1949
C. papuanus Holthuis, 1949
C. paniaicus Holthuis, 1949
C. pulcher Lukhaup, 2015
C. solus Holthuis, 1949
C. snowden Lukhaup, Panteleit & Schrimpf, 2015
In comparison to all species of the northern group the new species, C. warsamsonicus, is most similar to C. misolicus, a species that is endemic to Misool Island, one of four major islands in the Raja Ampat Islands in West Papua, Indonesia.
Cherax warsamsonicus sp. n. differs from C. misolicus in the following characters: shape of the chelae, (Fig.
Rostrum dorsal view A Cherax warsamsonicus sp. n., holotype male, (
Cherax warsamsonicus sp. n. is endemic in the Warsamson River and Warsamson tributaries in West Papua while C. misolicus is endemic in creeks and rivers of Misool Island.
Known only from the Warsamson River and its tributaries, South Sorong Regency in the central part of the Kepala Burung (Vogelkop) peninsula. The creeks from where these crayfish have been collected are shallow (20–60 cm) with a moderate flow, the water is clear, and have a pH of approximately 6.5. In most of the parts no water plants are present. The substrate of the creek is gravel or sand and soil mostly covered with silt and detritus, stones and larger rocks (Fig.
The common name of the new species in the pet trade is Cherax “irian jaya”, Cherax “pink coral”, and sometimes it is sold also as Cherax pulcher. Therefore we propose the name Warsamson River Crayfish as a common name for the new species.
Herbert Nigl is thanked for bringing the species to our attention. Nurdin Ohorella and Irianto Wahid are acknowledged for guiding the first author to the location of this species. Marten Luter Salossa is thanked for additional field sampling. Samir Mamoun and Zündorfer Aquaristik are thanked for providing crayfish for additional measurements. Anne Schrimpf and Jörn Panteleit from the Department of Conservation Genetics at the University Koblenz-Landau are acknowledged for the sequences of Cherax pulcher. We are grateful to Sammy de Grave, Charles Fransen and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments.