Spider crab named after our dive guide Maxi
There are so many animals & critters in the ocean that some go undiscovered or undescribed for many years, even if they are right under our noses. A great example is the species of spider crab or so called Maxi crab (Hyastenus tabolongi).
This spider crab went under the radar for many years. Its amazing camouflage makes it invisible for the untrained eye. This crab is incredibly hard to spot, even for the trained eyes. It is even more difficult if you don’t know where you need to look for it. Our dive guide Maxi has been finding it for many years during his dives around North Sulawesi. He has been showing it to our guests without actually knowing this was such a special and still undescribed species.
Andrew Podzorski, a renowned underwater photographer, specialized in small critters and fish and multi-multi repeater guest at Lumbalumba Resort, has been diving with Maxi for many years. Maxi showed this spider crab to Andrew during their dives in 2011. They both weren’t able to identify this crab and the hunt for identification started. Fish ID books couldn’t answer their questions. An extensive online search also didn’t result in an ID. At that point Andrew realized they maybe were looking at a undescribed species of spider crab.
We got a lead from a researcher in Cambridge, England. There was a research group in Singapore that were working on crabs. Photos were sent to Singapore, and there was great interest, as they were sure it was a new Hyastenus crab. Naming the crab after that was easy, it had to be named after the dive guide that showed it first to Andrew, Maxi Tabolong. It became the so called Maxi crab (Hyastenus tabolongi)
The full story about this amazing discovery can be read here: Hyastenus tabolongi.
The official press release about this amazing discovery can be read here: Hyastenus tabolongi press release