​​​Application for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment

Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until the 18th of February.
Applicant: Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany
Species/Taxon: Crustaceans (Decapoda): Hairy stone crab Lomis hirta, Soldier crab Mictyris platycheles, Porcelain crab Petrolisthes elongates, Crayfish Ombrastacoides huonensis

Location: South West Tasmania, PWS
Eagle Hawk Neck, mud flats, Crown land
Fortescue Bay, rocky shore, PWS
Other public beaches, Crown land
Title of research: Comparative analysis of decapod crustacean claws
Aim of project: Decapod claws serve many different functions such as feeding, digging burrows, signalling, protection, defence, mating and as sense organs. Accordingly, decapod chelae come in various numbers, sizes, and shapes. In addition, the posture of the chelae is significantly different between decapod groups. These differences are largely due to the articulations of the cheliped limb segments. In the current project, chelae of the major decapod groups are studied with respect to the position, arrangement and structures of the joints between the carpus and the propodus of the claws of the first pereopods. The aim is to deduce functional and ecological aspects and phylogenetic signals from this comparative study. Of particular interest for this study are species with a very specific lifestyle and morphology. Some of these, such as hairy stone crabs, soldier crabs, and burrowing crayfish live in Tasmania. For the planned methods of this study (see below) fresh material is better than specimens that were preserved for a long time.

There are no threatened species involved. By contrast, one species is an invasive species. The animals are partly collected on reserved land or nearby, because of easier accessibility. A detailed investigation about the use and function of claws might improve our knowledge about the ecology of the species. As a side effect, this new knowledge may lead to better strategies for protection of Tasmanian species.

Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved: 
4-5 specimens of each species.

Activities undertaken and methods:
Collecting of individuals by hand (digging, turning rocks, using a small spoon net). The animals will be preserved in ethanol.
Fate of animals:
The preserved animals will be taken to Berlin for studies using several techniques such as micro-CT, Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and computerized 3D reconstruction.
Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch):
About 4 to 5 specimens of each species are enough. None of the target species is rare and none is on the list of endangered Tasmanian species. Collecting just a handful of individuals does not result in any threat of the populations. Petrolisthes elongatus is even an introduced species. The collecting methods do not produce any by-catch. Turned rocks will be put back in the same position.​


Scientific Research Permits
Natural Values Conservation Branch
134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000

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