First record of the rare crab Asthenognathus atlanticus Monod, 1933 (Crustacea: Brachyura: Varunidae) in the North Sea

Marco Faasse, Hendrik Gheerardyn, Rob Witbaard, Joël Cuperus

Paper category: Short communication
Corresponding author: Marco Faasse (MarcoFaasse@eurofins.com)
DOI: 10.1515/ohs-2021-0030
Received: 07/12/2020
Accepted: 26/03/2021
Full text: here

Citation: Faasse,M.,Gheerardyn,H.,Witbaard,R. & Cuperus,J.(2021).First record of the rare crab Asthenognathus atlanticus Monod, 1933 (Crustacea: Brachyura: Varunidae) in the North Sea. Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies,50(3) 352-358. https://doi.org/10.2478/oandhs-2021-0030

Abstract

Several species new to the area were collected while monitoring Dutch marine waters using a dredge. The varunid crab Asthenognathus atlanticus Monod, 1933 was recorded for the first time in the North Sea. Until 2008, this relatively rare crab was known from the west coast of Africa and the western Mediterranean to northern Brittany in the north. In recent years, its distribution range has expanded, as indicated by records from the Bay of the Seine and the area around Dieppe-Le Tréport. Our finding from Brown Bank (southern North Sea) indicates a further, northward expansion of its distribution range. We list the hosts with which the crab is associated. Earlier arguments for climate change as an explanation for the northward range expansion are supported.

Acknowledgements

Jan van Dalfsen, Maarten Zwarts (tFC, the Fieldwork Company), Anke Engelberts, Saskia Honcoop and Erik Sanders (Eurofins AquaSense) were involved in sample processing on board. Evalien van Weerlee and David Huijsman (NIOZ) helped with sample processing and operated the dredge. The crew of the vessel “Arca” (Rijksrederij) is acknowledged for their assistance and hospitality. Edwin Verduin (Eurofins AquaSense) provided us with Figure 1. The comments of two anonymous reviewers are gratefully acknowledged.

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