Nutrient Contents of the Freshwater Crab, Isolapotamon bauense from Sarawak, Malaysia (Borneo)

Main Article Content

Jongkar Grinang
Pang Sing Tyan
Andrew Alek Tuen
Indraneil Das


Data on nutrient contents of freshwater crabs are important for ecological studies and species conservation assessments, especially when the species concerned is threatened among others by habitat destruction and uncontrolled resources utilization. Indeed comprehensive biological information is required to reconcile the needs between sustainable resources utilization and conservation of the species. This study documents the nutrient contents of a freshwater crab, Isolapotamon bauense which is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and also being harvested by local community for dietary supplement. Results show that muscles of the freshwater crab contain a substantial amount of nutrients in particular water content (male = 79.31 ± 2.30 %, female = 77.63 ± 0.56 %), protein (male = 77.47 ± 6.11 %, female = 63.28 ± 3.62 %), magnesium (male = 51.48 ± 16.10 mg/g, female = 39.73 ± 6.99 mg/g) and calcium (male = 25.50 ± 6.98 mg/g, female = 39.73 ± 6.99 mg/g). Means of nutrient contents between male and female crabs are not significantly different. It is estimated that an individual of I. bauense with weight range of 56–139 g contained on average of 0.35 ± 0.15 g of protein. Our estimation also shows that the number of individuals of the freshwater crab required to meet the recommended daily protein intakes of the community concerned is in the range 35–96 individuals for children, 130–188 individuals for adolescents, 171–179 individuals for men and 149–159 individuals for women. The results imply that harvesting of wild I. bauense as a source of protein supplement naturally may not be practical because of its relatively low population abundance, and conservation of the species for its ecological roles may thus be preferred.


Data mengenai kandungan nutrien ketam air tawar adalah penting untuk kajian ekologi dan penilaian pemuliharaan spesies, terutamanya apabila spesies yang berkenaan terancam, antara lain oleh pemusnahan habitat dan penggunaan sumber yang tidak terkawal. Maklumat biologi yang komprehensif diperlukan untuk menyelaraskan keperluan antara pemanfaatan sumber pemuliharaan dan pemuliharaan spesies. Kajian ini menyenaraikan kandungan nutrien ketam air tawar, Isolapotamon bauense yang disenaraikan sebagai ‘Kerentanan’ dalam Senarai Merah Spesies Terancam IUCN dan juga ditangkap oleh masyarakat tempatan untuk makanan tambahan. Keputusan menunjukkan bahawa otot ketam air tawar mengandungi sejumlah besar nutrien dalam kandungan air tertentu (jantan = 79.31 ± 2.30%, betina = 77.63 ± 0.56%), protein (jantan = 77.47 ± 6.11%, betina = 63.28 ± 3.62%) , Magnesium (jantan = 51.48 ± 16.10 mg / g, betina = 39.73 ± 6.99 mg / g) dan kalsium (jantan = 25.50 ± 6.98 mg / g, betina = 39.73 ± 6.99 mg / g). Kandungan nutrien antara ketam jantan dan betina tidak begitu ketara. Adalah dianggarkan bahawa seekor ketam I. bauense dengan julat berat 56–139 g yang mengandungi purata 0.35 ± 0.15 g protein. Pengiraan juga menunjukkan bahawa bilangan ketam air tawar yang diperlukan untuk memenuhi pengambilan protein harian yang disyorkan bagi masyarakat berkenaan adalah dalam lingkungan 35-96 ekor untuk kanak-kanak, 130-188 ekor untuk remaja, 171-179 ekor untuk lelaki dewasa dan 149-159 ekor untuk wanita dewasa. Hasilnya menandakan bahawa penangkapan I. bauense liar sebagai sumber suplemen protein semulajadi mungkin tidak praktikal kerana kelimpahan penduduknya yang agak rendah, dan pemuliharaan spesies untuk peranan ekologinya boleh diutamakan.

Article Details

How to Cite
Jongkar Grinang, Pang Sing Tyan, Andrew Alek Tuen, & Indraneil Das. (2017). Nutrient Contents of the Freshwater Crab, Isolapotamon bauense from Sarawak, Malaysia (Borneo). Tropical Life Sciences Research, 28(2), 75–87.
Original Article


Aberoumad A. (2014). Nutrient composition analysis of gish fish fillets affected by cooking methods. International Food Research Journal 21(5): 1989–1991.

Adeyeye E l. (2002). Determination of the chemical composition of the nutritionally valuable parts of male and female common West African fresh water crab, Sudananautes africanus africanus. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 53(3): 189–196.

AOAC. (1995). Official methods of analysis of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (16th Ed.). Washington, DC: AOAC International,

Banerjee G, Srikanth K, Ramu G and Ramulu Narisimha K. (2010). Ethnozoological study in a tropical wildlife sanctuary of Eturunagaram in the Warangal district, Andhra Pradesh. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge 9(4): 701–704.

Bilgin ? and Fidanba? Z U C. (2011). Nutritional properties of crab (Potamon potamios Olivier, 1804) in the Lake of E?irdir (Turkey). Pakistan Veterinary Journal 31(3): 239–243.

Butler J R A and Marshall B E (1996). Resource use within the crab-eating guild of the upper Kairezi River, Zimbabwe. Journal of Tropical Ecology 12(4): 475–490.

Collins N M (1980). The habitat and populations of terrestrial crabs (Brachyura: Gecarcinucidea and Grapsoidea) in the Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak. Zoologische Mededelingen 55(7): 81–85.

Covich A P and McDowell W H. (1996). The stream community. In D P Reagan and R B Waide (eds.). The food web of a tropical rain forest. London: University of Chicago Press, 433–459.

Cumberlidge N, Ng P K L, Yeo D C J, Magalhães C, Campos M R, Alvarez F, Naruse T, Daniels S R, Esser L J, Attipoe F Y K, Clotilde-Ba F-L, Darwall W, McIvor A, Baillie J E M, Collen B and Ram M. (2009). Freshwater crabs and the biodiversity crisis: importance, threats, status, and conservation challenges. Biological Conservation 142(8): 1665–1673.

Dobson M, Magana A M, Mathooko J M and Ndegwa F K. (2007). Distribution and abundance of freshwater crabs (Potamonautes spp.) in rivers draining Mt Kenya, east Africa. Fundamental and Applied Limnology 168(3): 271–279.

Ersoy B, Yanar Y, Küçükgülmez A and Çelik M. (2006). Effects of four cooking methods on the heavy metal concentrations of sea bass fillets (Dicentrarchus labrax Linne, 1785. Food Chemistry 99(4): 748–751.

Ghosh-Jerath S, Singh A, Kamboj P, Goldberg G & Magsumbol M S. (2015). Traditional knowledge and nutritive value of indigenous foods in the Oraon tribal community of Jharkhand: an exploratory cross-sectional study. Ecology of Food and Nutrition 54:493–519..

Gökoðlu N and Yerlikaya P. (2003). Determination of proximate composition and mineral contents of blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) and swim crab (Portunus pelagicus) caught off the Gulf of Antalya. Food Chemistry 80(4): 495–498.

Gökoðlu N, Yerlikaya P and Cengiz E. (2004). Effects of cooking methods on the proximate composition and mineral contents of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Food Chemistry 84(1): 19–22.

Grinang J. (2016). Taxonomy and ecology of freshwater crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura) in Sarawak, Borneo. (PhD dissertation). Kota Samarahan: Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.

Grinang J. (2014). Freshwater crabs of Gunung Singai, Sarawak: diversity and potential criteria for integrated water catchment management policies. In A A Tuen, J MohdAzlan and J Grinang (eds.). RIMBA 3 – sustaining livelihood through prudent utilization and management of natural resources. Proceedings of the 3rd RIMBA Symposium on Sustaining Livelihood through Prudent Utilization and Management of Natural Resources, 17–18 July 2012, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Sarawak. Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 229–237.

Grinang J, Das I and Ng P K L. (2016). Ecological characteristics of the freshwater crab, Isolapotamon bauense in one of Wallace’s collecting sites. In I Das & A A Tuen (eds.). Naturalists, Explorers and Field Scientists in South-East Asia and Australasia, Topics of Biodiversity and Conservation, Springer International Publishing Switzerland, 15: 127–141.

Hill M P and O’Keeffe J H. (1992). Some aspects of the ecology of the freshwater crab (Potamonautes perlatus Milne-Edwards) in the upper reaches of the Buffalo River, eastern Cape Province, South Africa. South African Journal of Aquatic Sciences 18(2): 42–50.

IUCN. (2015). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Downloaded on 12 February 2016.

Jamir N S and Lal P (2005). Ethnozoological practices among Naga tribes. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge 4(1): 100–104.

Jensen K A and Das I. (2006). Biological observation on the Asian soft-shell turtle in Sarawak, Malaysia, Borneo, with notes on the biology and conservation of other non-marine turtles. Testudo 6(3): 39–49; Pl. II–VI.

Küçükgülmez A, Çelik M, Yanar Y, Ersoy B and Çikrikçi M. (2006). Proximate composition and mineral contents of the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) breast meat, claw meat and hepatopancreas. International Journal of Food Science and Technology 41(9): 1203–1026.

Mahawar M M and Jaroli D P (2007). Traditional knowledge on zootherapeutic uses by the Sahara tribe of Rajasthan, India. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 3: 25.

Marijnissen S A E, Michel E, Cleary D F R and McIntyre P B. (2008). Ecology and conservation status of endemic freshwater crabs in Lake Tanganyika, Africa. Biodiversity and Conservation 18(6): 1555–1573.

McFarlane D A and Lundberg J. (2012). The status of the Niah cave crab, Adeleana chapmani (Decapoda, Gecarcinucidae), Sarawak, Malaysia. Speleobiology Notes 4: 29–33.

Mendoza J C E and Naruse T. (2010). A new species of riverine crab of the genus Sundathelphusa Bott, 1969 (Crustacea: Brachyura: Gecarcinucidae) from Northeastern Luzon, Philippines. Philippine Journal of Science 139(1): 61–70.

Mohd-Azlan J and Fauzi M F (2006). Ethnozoological survey in selected areas in Sarawak. The Sarawak Museum Journal Vol LXII No. 83 (New Series): 185–200.

Moronkola B A, Olowu R A, Tovide O O and Ayejuyo O O. (2011). Determination of proximate and mineral contents of crab (Callinectes amnicola) living on the shore of Ojo River, Lagos, Nigeria. Scientific Reviews and Chemical Communications 1(1): 1–6.

NCCFN (National Coordinating Committee of Food and Nutrition). (2005). Recommended Nutrient Intakes for Malaysia. A Report of the Technical Working Group on Nutritional Guidelines. Ministry of Health Malaysia, Putrajaya.

Ng P K L (1987). Freshwater crabs of the genus Isolapotamon Bott, 1968 from Sarawak, Borneo (Crustacea, Decapoda, Brachyura, Potamidae). Sarawak Museum Journal, XXXVII No. 58 (new series): 139–153. Pl. 7.

Ng P K L (1988). The Freshwater Crabs of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Singapore: Shinglee Publishers Pte Ltd.

Ng P K L. (1995). On one genus and three new species of freshwater crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Potamidae and Grapsidae) from Lanjak-Entimau, Sarawak, East Malaysia, Borneo. Zoologische Mededelingen 69(5): 57–72.

Ng P K L and Tan S H. (1998). Revision of the Southeast Asian potamid crabs of the genus Malayopotamon Bott, 1968 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura). Journal of Natural History 33(2): 207–231.

Ng P K L and Yeo D C J. (2007). Malaysian freshwater crabs: conservation prospects and challenges. In L Chua (ed.). Proceedings of the seminar on the status of biological diversity in Malaysia and threat assessment of plant species in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Forest Research Institute Malaysia, 95–120.

Ng P K L, Guinot D and Davie P J F. (2008). Systema brachyurorum: Part I. An annotated checklist of extant brachyuran crabs of the world. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 17: 1–286.

Omotayo F, Adesola M F and Abayomi O J. (2014). Proximate composition and mineral content of the land crab Sudanonautes africanus. Journal of Scientific Research and Reports 3(2): 349–355.

Parker D M, Burchell R K and Bernard R T F. (2005). The diet of Cape clawless otters at two sites along the Bloukrans River, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. African Zoology 40(2): 330–334.

Rahman M A, Abdullah M T and Noweg G T. (2003). Hunting, uses and trade of wildlife by Orang Ulu in the upper reaches of Batang Rajang, Sarawak, Malaysia. In Metz O, R Waley & A E Christesen (eds.). Local Land Use Strategies in a Globalizing World: Shaping Sustaining Social and Nature Environment. Proceedings of the International Conference, Vol. 3: 91–110. Institute of Geography, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Skonberg D I and Perkins B L (2002). Nutrient composition of green crab (Carcinus maenus) leg meat and claw meat. Food Chemistry 77(4): 401–404. S0308-8146(01)00364-8

Sudha Devi A R and Smija M K. (2013). Analysis of dietary value of the soft tissue of the freshwater crab Travancorina schirnerae. Indian Journal of Applied Research 3(7): 45–49.

Türkkan A U, Cakli S and Kilinc B. (2008). Effects of cooking methods on the proximate composition and fatty acid composition of seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax, Linnaeus, 1758). Food and Bioproducts Processing 86(3): 163–166. fbp.2007.10.004

Turnbull-Kemp P S J. (1960). Quantitative estimations of populations of the river crab, Potamon (Potamonautes) perlatus (Milne Edwards) in Rhodesian trout streams. Nature 4711: 481.

Varadharajan D and Soundarapandian P. (2014). Proximate composition and mineral contents of freshwater crab Spiralothelphusa hydrodroma (Herbst, 1794) from Parangipettai, South east coast of India. Aquaculture Research and Development 5:217.

Yeo D C J and Ng P K L. (1998). Freshwater crabs of the Potamon tannanti species group (Crustacea, Decapoda, Brachyura, Potamidae) of northern Indochina. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 46(2): 627–650.

Yeo D C J, Ng P K L, Cumberlidge N, Magalhães C, Daniels S R and Campos M R (2008). Global diversity of crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595(1): 575–286.

Yule C M, Leong M Y, Liew K C, Ratnarajah L, Schmidt K, Wong K H, Pearson K G and Boyero L. (2009). Shredders in Malaysia: abundance and richness are higher in cool upland tropical streams. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 28(2): 404–415.