12 New Deep-Sea Species Discovered in Indonesia

SJADES 2018, Deep Sea, Sea Cockroach
Expedition member Mr Muhammad Dzaki Bin Safaruan holding the newly discovered giant sea cockroach (Photo © SJADES 2018)

Discovered creatures include a fuzzy crab and a zebra-patterned lobster


By Lim Jun Xi


A 14-day survey of the unexplored deep seas off the southern coast of West Java, Indonesia, has yielded 12 new species previously unknown to science, say researchers from the the South Java Deep Sea Biodiversity Expedition 2018 (SJADES 2018).

SJADES 2018, Deep Sea, Marine Biology, New Species, Rochinia
This yet-to-be-named crab species was found camouflaged with detritus, small zoanthid anemones and mud. It has a distinctive plate which resembles oversized ears adjacent to its red eyes. (Photo © SJADES 2018)


Using trawls and dredges to sift through seabeds between 200 and 2,100 metres deep, the research team covered over 2,200 kilometres of open water over two weeks, examining more than 12,000 creatures.


(Photo © SJADES 2018; National University of Singapore)


A stunning orange species now ascribed to Rochinia with many strong spines. Only one specimen of this rare species was obtained from southwestern Java (Photo © SJADES 2018)


This was among the 20 species of squat lobsters found by scientists on the expedition. This beautiful species has a distinctive zebra pattern on its body (Photo © SJADES 2018)

Among the new species discovered are a crab with fuzzy spines and blood-red eyes, a lobster with a zebra-patterned shell and long arms, and a hermit crab with green eyes and orange-banded pincers. Over 40 of the collected species were previously not thought to live off the Indonesian coast.

Another new species of Rochinia, a more elongated form, from the depths of southwestern Java. Several specimens were found clinging to stalked sea lilies, a living fossil. Scientists are still not sure if this is their only habitat but they do believe these crabs have a preference for these sea lilies. (Photo © SJADES 2018)


An exquisitely sculptured shiny-eyed shrimp collected by scientists. These are bottom dwelling shrimps which possess unique mechanisms to lock their abdomens to protect against predators (Photo © SJADES 2018)


Organised by the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), SJADES 2018 is the first joint deep-sea biological exploration by Singapore and Indonesia.


This distinctive new species of Paguristes hermit crab has green eyes and orange banded pincers (Photo © SJADES 2018)


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