New Report of the Varunid Crabs, Hemigrapsus takanoi and Sestrostoma toriumii (Crustacea: Decapoda: Varunidae) from Korea

  • Lee, Sanghui (School of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Lee, Sang-Kyu (Marine Ecosystem Research Division, Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology) ;
  • Rho, Hyun Soo (Dokdo Research Center, Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology) ;
  • Kim, Won (School of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University)
  • Received : 2012.12.14
  • Accepted : 2013.02.07
  • Published : 2013.04.30


As a result of continuous taxonomic studies on the Korean crabs, two varunid crabs, Hemigrapsus takanoi Asakura and Watanabe, 2005 and Sestrostoma toriumii (Takeda, 1974), are newly reported from Korean waters. Hemigrapsus takanoi, as a sibling species of H. penicillatus, has not been recognized in Korean waters, and this species occurs in the sympatric habitat with H. penicillatus in the Korean peninsula. Sestrostoma toriumii (Takeda, 1974) is associated with thallassinid Upogebia major (De Haan, 1841) and echiuran Urechis unicintus (Von Drache, 1881) as the case of S. balssi (Shen, 1932). The Korean S. toriumii showed smaller size than those mentioned in the original description. Their illustrations and pictures are provided with descriptions, and the distributions of these species in the Korean peninsula are also provided.


  1. Anker A, Murina GV, Lira C, Caripe JAV, Palmer AR, Jeng MS, 2005. Macrofauna associated with echiuran burrows: a review with new observations of the innkeeper worm, Ochetostoma erythrogrammon Leuckart and Ruppel, in Venezuela. Zoological Studies, 44:157-190.
  2. Asakura A, Watanabe S, 2005. Hemigrapsus takanoi, new species, a sibling species of the common Japanese intertidal crab H. penicillatus (Decapoda: Brachyura: Grapsoidea). Journal of Crustacean Biology, 25:279-292.
  3. Davie PJF, 1992. A new species and new records of intertidal crabs (Crustacea: Brachyura) from Hong Kong. In: Proceedings of the Fourth International Marine Biological workshop: The Marine Flora and Fauna of Hong Kong and Southern China (Ed., Morton B), Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong, pp. 345-359.
  4. Davie PJF, Ng PKL, 2007. Two new subfamilies of Varunidae (Crustacea: Brachyura), with description of two new genera. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement, 16:257-272.
  5. De Haan W, 1833-1850. Crustacea. In: Fauna Japonica sive Descriptio Animalium, Quae in Itinere per Japoniam, Jussu et Auspiciis Superiorum, qui Summum in India Batava Imperium Tenent, Suscepto, Annis 1823-1830 Collegit, Notis, Observationibus et Adumbrationibus Illustravit (Ed., von Siebold PF). Lugduni-Batavorum, Leiden, pp. 1-243.
  6. Kim HS, 1973. Illustrated encyclopedia of fauna and flora of Korea, Vol. 14. Anomura: Brachyura. Samwha Publishing Co., Seoul, pp. 1-649.
  7. Miers EJ, 1879. On a collection of Crustacea made by Capt. H. C. St. John, R. N. in the Corean and Japanese seas. Part 1. Podophthalmia. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1879:18-61.
  8. Miyake S, Sakai K, Nishikawa S, 1962. A fauna-list of the decapod Crustacea from the coasts washed by the Tsushima Warm Current. Records of Oceanographic Works in Japan, Special Number, 6:121-131.
  9. Ng PKL, Guinot D, Davie PJF, 2008. Systema Brachyurorum: Part 1. An annotated checklist of extant brachyuran crabs of the world. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement, 17: 1-286.
  10. Rathbun MJ, 1929. New and rare Chinese crabs. Lingnan Science Journal, 8:75-104.
  11. Sakai K, 2000. On the occurrence of three species of crabs on Shikoku Island, Japan, and a new species, Pinnotheres taichungae nov. spec., from Taiwan (Decapoda, Brachyura). Crustaceana, 73:1155-1162.
  12. Sakai K, 2007. Comments on an invalid nominal species, Hemigrapsus takanoi Asakura & Watanabe, 2005, a synonym of Hemigrapsus penicillatus (De Haan, 1835) (Decapoda, Brachyura, Grapsidae). Crustaceana, 80:503-508.
  13. Sakai T, 1976. Crabs of Japan and the adjacent seas. Kodansha Ltd., Tokyo, pp. 1-773.
  14. Shen CJ, 1932. The brachyuran Crustacea of North China. Zoologica Sinica, Series A, 9:1-321.
  15. Takano M, Ikeda M, Kijima A, 1997. Biochemical and morphological evidence of two sympatric forms, interpreted as sibling species, in the estuarine grapsid crab Hemigrapsus penicillatus (De Haan). Benthos Research, 52:111-117.
  16. Takeda M, 1974. Accounts of some rare crabs from Mutsu Bay, with description of a new grapsid from Onagawa Bay. Bulletin of the Marine Biological Station of Asamushi, Tohoku University, 15:13-21.
  17. Yamasaki I, Doi W, Mingkid WM, Yokota M, Strussmann CA, Watanabe S, 2011. Molecular-based method to distinguish the sibiling species Hemigrapsus penicillatus and Hemigrapsus takanoi (Decapoda: Brachyura: Varunidae). Journal of Crustacean Biology, 31:577-581.

Cited by

  1. Biology of the Mud Shrimp Upogebia major (de Haan, 1841), with Particular Reference to Pest Management for Shrimp Control in Manila Clam Bed in the West Coast of Korea vol.35, pp.4, 2013,
  2. Field and laboratory quantification of alternative use of host burrows by the varunid crab Sestrostoma toriumii (Takeda, 1974) (Brachyura: Varunidae) vol.37, pp.3, 2017,
  3. Evidence of multiple introductions and genetic admixture of the Asian brush-clawed shore crab Hemigrapsus takanoi (Decapoda: Brachyura: Varunidae) along the Northern European coast pp.1573-1464, 2017,
  4. Asakura & Watanabe, 2005 (Decapoda, Brachyura, Varunidae) pp.1469-7769, 2019,