Despite their creepy claws and bright yellow eyes, vampire crabs are increasingly popular pets.
Now, experts have discovered two new species of the spooky crustaceans — Geosesarma dennerle and Geosesarma hagen — have been lurking in home aquariums for years.
They traced the freshwater crabs’ origins back to their wild source — finding that they live in rivers on the island of Java, Indonesia.
Scientists have discovered two new species of the spooky crustaceans — Geosesarma dennerle (pictured) and Geosesarma hagen — which are found in many home aquariums
‘These crabs are kind of special because they’ve been around in the pet trade for ten years, but no one knew where they come from,’ said Christian Lukhaup, für Nano a professional aquarist in Waiblingen, Germany, who was speaking to .
While scientists have identified a number of vampire crab species before — so called because of their yellow eyes and sometimes purple bodies — the two new species are the most common pets.
They may appeal because of their diminutive size, measuring just one inch (3cm) across.
While scientists have identified a number of vampire crab species before — so called because of their yellow eyes and sometimes purple bodies — but the two new species are the most common pets. G. hagen is shown
G. dennerle is purple in colour with a cream patch on its back, while G. hagen has a bright orange shell and claws which stand out against the rest of its dark body, according to the study published in the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology.
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WHAT ARE VAMPIRE CRABS
Vampire crabs are so-called because of their spooky yellow eyes, which are the same colour as fictional vampires’ who drink the blood of animals/
Before being identified as new species, the two types of crabs were known to have originally come from somewhere in Southeast Asia.
A site selling vampire crabs says they thrive in aquariums with rocks to climb on and like to sit on Java moss.
Females dig down into sand to have their offspring and both sexes are more active in warmer water — typically between 21°C and 27°C (70°F and 80°F).
They are apparently easy to care for and are quite sociable, getting along well with one another and seldom fight.
The crabs grow up to one inch wide (3cm) and live for up to three years.