Work conducted on the land crabs of Christmas Island has advanced our knowledge of the ecophysiology of ion and water balance not only in terrestrial crabs, but across the Crustacea. For instance, studies undertaken on endemic Christmas Island species, such as Discoplax celeste, which is unique in its evolutionary position and ecology as a freshwater/land crab, have allowed us to increase our understanding of the mechanisms that have underpinned the evolution of these animals from the sea to the terrestrial environment. Recent studies have focused on understanding the neuroendocrine control of osmoregulation in terrestrial crabs on Christmas Island, with crustacean hyperglycaemic hormone being confirmed to have significant roles in the control of seasonal osmoregulation in gecarcinids.

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The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology

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School of Biological and Marine Sciences