New species discovered in Meghalaya cave: Blind albino crab found in India

albino cave image

A new species found in India's eighth longest cave.

India’s eighth longest cave in Meghalaya has revealed one of its closely guarded secrets. Researchers have stumbled up an almost blind, albino crab that had to date remained hidden in the darkest corners of the 7.3 km long cave.

  • Unlike other crabs, which come in various colours such as red, blue and olive green and sizes, these crabs are albino(shadeless)
  • These are with small bodies measuring less than 2 cm.
  • Having short and slender legs with hairs on them.
  • They are perfectly adapted to cave-life and live in ‘dark zones’ under pitch black darkness, where temperatures remain almost constant. Because there is no light they have no colouring pigments and hence albino and blind.
  • While this one has a large eye socket but a retina smaller than a poppy seed the former ones have smaller sockets.
  • The shape of the penis of this one is different from its predecessors
  • The body is serrated (like a saw) on the sides and do not have hairy legs

Blind albino caves crabs have been earlier reported from some Asian countries including China, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia. Scientists, however, claimed that the Meghalaya-crab is different from other cave crabs discovered in other countries