A new species of the family Paguridae Latreille, 1802, Michelopagurus tangaloa n. sp., is described from deep waters (485-1145 m) off the coast of Moorea, French Polynesia, South Pacific. This new species is the fifth known in the genus Michelopagurus McLaughlin, 1997, and the third from the Indo-West Pacific; the other two species are distributed in the Atlantic Ocean. All five species are rarely collected and most are known from a few type specimens. The new species most closely resembles its Indonesian congener M. chacei McLaughlin, 1997 but can be differentiated by having an acutely triangular rostrum terminating in a small spine, instead of the broadly rounded, terminally unarmed rostrum in M. chacei. Other subtle differences are: corneas reduced, not dilated or wider than distal width of peduncle in M. tangaloa n. sp., whereas corneas are weakly dilated and wider than distal width of peduncle in M. chacei; right cheliped dorsal surface of palm lacking spines, and carpi at most with weak dorsomesial distal row of small blunt spines in M. tangaloa n. sp., whereas the dorsal surface of the palm has a row of distinct spines, and carpus with dorsolateral and dorsomesial rows of distinct spines in M. chacei. A key to assist in the identification of all species of the genus is provided.
Crustacea, Decapoda, Paguridae, Michelopagurus, hermit crab, Moorea, French Polynesia, new species.