Biodiversity Science ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (3): 274-282.doi: 10.17520/biods.2018062

• Bioinventories • Previous Article     Next Article

A checklist for the classification and distribution of China’s freshwater crabs

Chu Kelin, Ma Xiaoping, Zhang Zewei, Wang Pengfei, Lü Linna, Zhao Qiang, Sun Hongying*()   

  1. Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Biodiversity and Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023
  • Received:2018-02-23 Accepted:2018-03-29 Online:2018-05-05
  • Sun Hongying

China has the highest species-richness of freshwater crabs in the world. However, due to the recent and rapid discoveries of freshwater crab species in China there is currently no systematic checklist for classification. Here we present for the first time a checklist of all freshwater crab species found in China that follows the latest classification of Brachyura by Ng et al (2008). The checklist is based on the most recent taxonomic literature and provides updated distributions for each species. There are 311 species of Chinese freshwater crabs in 45 genera and two families. The Potamidae Ortmann, 1896, includes 44 genera and 283 species and subspecies, while the Gecarcinucidae Rathbun, 1904, includes one genus and 28 species. The degree of endemism was found to be high, with 302 species and subspecies (97%), and 38 genera (84%) that are found only in China. The highest species diversity occurs in Yunnan Province (16 genera and 50 species), followed by Taiwan (4 genera and 41 species). The checklist provides a baseline for further studies of the freshwater crabs of China and will be a particularly important reference point for future conservation projects.

Key words: freshwater crab, classification, diversity, endemic, checklist

Fig. 1

Statistics of the number of new species of China’s freshwater crabs per ten year (1798-1899 and 2010-2018 as a unit separately)"

Table 1

Species diversity of freshwater crabs in each provincial region of China"

拟地蟹科Gecarcinucidae 溪蟹科
No. of genus/
No. of genus/ species
No. of family/
云南 Yunnan 1/2 15/48 2/16/50
台湾 Taiwan 1/1 3/40 2/4/41
广西 Guangxi 1/7 12/30 2/13/37
福建 Fujian 1/3 5/31 2/6/34
江西 Jiangxi 1/6 3/27 2/4/33
湖北 Hubei 4/30 1/4/30
贵州 Guizhou 13/29 1/13/29
广东 Guangdong 1/3 8/17 2/9/20
湖南 Hunan 4/25 1/4/25
四川 Sichuan 5/21 1/5/21
海南 Hainan 1/4 3/10 2/4/14
重庆 Chongqing 3/12 1/3/12
浙江 Zhejiang 3/10 1/3/10
河南 Henan 2/9 1/2/9
安徽 Anhui 1/7 1/1/7
香港 Hongkong 1/2 2/3 2/3/5
陕西 Shaanxi 2/5 1/2/5
河北 Hebei 1/3 1/1/3
山西 Shanxi 1/3 1/1/3
甘肃 Gansu 1/2 1/1/2
江苏 Jiangsu 1/2 1/1/2
澳门 Macao 1/1 1/1/1
山东 Shandong 1/1 1/1/1
西藏 Xizang 1/1 1/1/1
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