Scientific Name :Paratelphusa hydrodromus
Family : Parathelphusidae
Tamil Name: Nila nandu
Description: It is stocky grey brown with white spots. Its pincers are strong and robust. Lives in burrows. It comes out at night mainly after the rains.
Distribution and status: There are around 1,300 species of freshwater crabs, distributed throughout the tropics and subtropics, divided among eight families. Common though exploited as a food source in some countries.
Habitat: Moist habitats like lakes and bunds of paddy fields.
Habits. They can be normally be seen with their pincers outside their burrows on the edge of paddy fields. They live in a wide range of water bodies, from fast-flowing rivers to swamps,
Life cycle : They show direct development and maternal care of a small number of offspring, in contrast to marine crabs which release thousands of planktonic larvae.. This limits the dispersal abilities of freshwater crabs, so they tend to be endemic to small areas
Role in the environment: Plays a major role as a food source in Southeast Asian countries where it is considered a delicacy. Important prey item for birds and other animals in the paddy field ecosystem.
Photo source: www.youtube.com