Sunday, July 17, 2016

Mahatha helaya

Binomial name: Mahatha helaya

Mahatha helaya is an endemic species of freshwater crabs found in the hill country of Sri Lanka. This crab is only known from its type locality, near Kalupahana in the borders of water streams close to the main Colombo-Haputale road (Bahir and Ng 2005). All the members of the genus Mahatha are endemic to the island and the species name 'helaya' also has a Sinhala meaning, which is a name for an inhabitant of Sri Lanka. In the IUCN Red list, it is 'Critically Endangerd' due to the very limited distribution.
Above photographed specimens were also found very close to the defined type locality, where margins of a roadside stream at Kalupahana. All human activities that change the aquatic environment of river margins will be the main risk for the survival of this species.

  • Bahir, Mohomed M., and Peter KL Ng 2005 Descriptions of Ten New Species of Freshwater Crabs (Crustacea: Brachyura: Parathelphusidae: Ceylonthelphusa, Mahatha, Perbrinckia) from Sri Lanka. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement 12: 47–75.
  • The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(tm) 2015-4 -
  • Identification guide provided by: Mr. M. M. Bahir

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