Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Malacostraca Decapoda Gecarcinucidae

Scientific Name: Terrathelphusa kuchingensis
Species Authority: (Nobili, 1901)
Taxonomic Notes: Subfamily Parathelphusinae.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Esser, L. and Cumberlidge, N.
Reviewer(s): Pollock, C.M. (IUCN Red List Unit), Ng, P. & Yeo, D. and McIvor, A.
T. kuchingensis is known from only three areas (Bako National Park, the Bau area and around Kuching). Its total range area is around 100 km², and although part of its range falls within a national park its habitat is declining as peat soil areas are converted to agricultural land. Its limited range and ongoing habitat declines qualify the species for Endangered.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Malaysia: East Malaysia: Sarawak: This species is known only from the vicinity of Kuching and possibly is also found in Bako National Park. More material (15 specimens) was collected in 2002 from Gunung Tai Ton, Gunung Tongga (one specimen) and Gunung Aup (one specimen) in the Bau Limestone Area of Sarawak. So the number of localities known is now three (all in the Bau Limestone Area).

The extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated at 100 km², based on two original collections made a few years apart by different collectors (both list locality as simply “Kuching, Sarawak”), plus new material belonging to this species collected in 1986 from Bako National Park about 35 km north of Kuching city. However, the new specimen was not directly examined – it is identified from a photograph, so the original locality is the only one for certain – but the authors speculate that “Kuching” as a locality might well have referred to the Bako National Park north of the city where the new specimens was photographed. So the EOO estimate of 100 km² might be acceptable.
Countries occurrence:
Malaysia (Sarawak)
Number of Locations: 3
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no information on population size, abundance, or trends.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: These crabs are semi-terrestrial, foraging on vegetation at night, but digging and hiding in deep burrows in peat soil by day. This species digs deep holes in the forest floor on forest soil many meters away from the nearest stream. Collected from burrows in a small cocoa plantation next to the main forest.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The peat swamp remnants this crab occurs in are all small and their long-term survival questionable. Only one of the peat swamp remnants (one of the smallest ones) is protected as a state park (not a national park) and nests in an urban area, while the rest are still been developed for a wide range of agricultural crops.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The retention of Bako area as a National Park would help to protect this species.

Classifications [top]

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Whole (>90%) ♦ severity: Unknown ⇒ Impact score: Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Ng, P.K.L. 1989. Terrathelphusa, a new genus of semiterrestrial freshwater crabs from Borneo and Java (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Sundathelphusidae). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 37(1 & 2): 116 - 131.

Ng, P.K.L. and Yeo, D.C.J. 2007. Malaysian Freshwater Crabs: Conservation Prospects and Challenges. Status of Biological Diversity in Malaysia and Threat Assessment of Plant Species in Malaysia ?(?): 95-120.

Nobili, G. 1901. Note intorno ad una collezione di Crostacei di Sarawak (Borneo). Boll. Mus. Zool. Anat. Comp. 16(397): 1-14.

Citation: Esser, L. and Cumberlidge, N. 2008. Terrathelphusa kuchingensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T134199A3918266. . Downloaded on 06 October 2015.
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