Dardanus arrosor  Mediterranean hermit crab

Dardanus arrosor.  Mediterranean hermit crab.

Class: Malacostraca   Order: Decapoda   Family: Diogenidae   Genus: Dardanus   Size: 6-8 cm

The color varies from bright red to bright orange. The eyes are bluish.  Claws show hair-like spines and warty tubercles. The left claw is more developed than the right one. The abdomen is asymmetrical, bare and hidden within a shell.

 Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Indo-West Pacific (Japan, New Zealand and Philippines)

Trapezia rufopunctata, Rust-spotted Guard Crab, Commensal Crabs, Guard Crabs, Red-spotted Guard Crab, Trapezia Crab

Trapezia rufopunctata  Rust-spotted Guard Crab

Class: Malacostraca      Order: Decapoda      Family: Trapeziidae      Genus: Trapezia           Size: to 2.5 cm

The carapace has a spectacular mottled drawing, with reddish spots on a white or pink background. The Guard crab lives symbiotically in association with coral ( Acropora / Pocillopora) hiding deep within the coral branches. It feeds on coral tissue and mucus, and use claws to ward off coral predators. ( In this photo it is inside a Pocillopora damicornis ).

Indo-Pacific, Maldives and Polynesia.

Achaeus japonicus   Orangutan Crab  Malacostraca   Decapoda   Inachidae

Achaeus japonicus   Orangutan Crab

Class: Malacostraca   Order: Decapoda   Family: Inachidae   Genus: Achaeus   Size: to 2 cm

Thickly covered with fine hairs and debris. Reddish brown to brown or golden, very long legs and protruding eyes.             It is frequently, but not always, found in association with the bubble coral. 

West-Pacific from Indonesia to Fiji.

Neopetrolisthes maculatus     Spotted Porcelain Crab  Malacostraca    Decapoda     Porcellanidae

Neopetrolisthes maculatus     Spotted Porcelain Crab

Class: Malacostraca     Order: Decapoda     Family:Porcellanidae     Genus: Neopetrolisthes     Size: to 3 cm

White undercolor with numerous fine red spots. It is a small, colourful crustacean with a porcelain-like shell. Porcelain crabs have large claws, which are used for territorial struggles, but not for catching food. 

Achaeus japonicus

Achaeus japonicus in association with the coral bubble Plerogyra sinuosa.  Plerogyra sinuosa is a jelly-like species of the phylum Cnidaria. It is commonly called "bubble coral" due to its bubbly appearance.

Achaeus japonicus

 Achaeus japonicus 

Neopetrolisthes maculatus     Spotted Porcelain Crab

Spotted Porcelain Crab has a very unique mutualistic relationship with sea anemones like the the Heteractis magnifica or the Phymactis papillosa.

Hoplophrys oatesi     Soft Coral Crab

Hoplophrys oatesi     Soft Coral Crab

Class: Malacostraca      Order: Decapoda      Family: Epialtidae       Genus: Hoplophrys          Size: to 1.5 cm

Pinkish white with pink to red line, band and spot marking. Covered with sharp spike-like tubercles. It lives on various species of soft coral in the genus Dendronephthya. It camouflages itself by mimicking the colours of the polyps among which it hides

Indo-West Pacific from Indonesia to New Caledonia and Fiji.

Hoplophrys oatesi     Soft Coral Crab

Hoplophrys oatesi adds further camouflage by attaching polyps to its carapace. Colours vary depending on the colour of the coral, and may be white, pink, yellow or red.

Xenocarcinus depressus

Xenocarcinus depressus

Class: Malacostraca     Order: Decapoda     Family: Epialtidae    Genus: Xenocarcinus         Size: to 1.5 cm

Red to orange or reddish brown.The carapace is covered with numerous lumps. Central white depressed stripe. Legs covered with small tubercles. Associate with gorgonians.

Indo-West Pacific, Japan.

Manucomplanus varians   Staghorn Hermit Crab

Manucomplanus varians

Phylum: Arthropoda     Order: Decapoda     Superfamily: Paguroide     Size: to 0.6 cm

Staghorn Hermit Crabs are named for their hydroid and bryozoan shell (primarily the hydroid Janarua mirabilis) which resembles coral.  Instead of changing shells like other hermit crabs, the Staghorn Hermit will tend to its live shell and maintain the "hole" in the coral to fit its body size. 

Decorator crab

Decorator crab.    Decorator crabs are crabs of several different species, belonging to the superfamily Majoidea that use materials from their environment to hide from, or ward off, predators. They decorate themselves by sticking mostly sedentary animals and plants to their bodies as camouflage.