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View Full Version : The Porcelain Crabs - Family Porcellanidae



mrbheagney
09-02-2008, 16:39
Here is one shot I took of a porcelain crab in a short tentacle anemone. The crabs, usually in a pair, can be found around the edges of the anemone. The stinging tentacles of the anemone provides them with protection from predators. This is probably a commensal symbiosis as the anemone receives no benefit from the crab. If the crab could be observed to clean the anemone or provide some other function it would become mutualistic. Get the video cameras out I guess! I also wonder if the crabs eggs or larva would, in some portion, be consumed by the anemone when released by the crabs or if these little critters are on the menu or the clown fish also living in the anemone. If you have ever seen a clown fish close up they have a scary set of teeth, see pic. Anyway, hope you like the pics and enjoy the discussion. Keep em coming.

JCAT
09-02-2008, 16:56
Clown Fish pic is amazing! I like the color much.

NeveSSL
09-02-2008, 17:19
Nice man!

Here's my porcelain crab:

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa280/NeveSSL/Salt%20Tank/DSC_00572.jpg

Needless to say, he has his little wand thingies out feeding. :) Sorry its a bit out of focus... he stays in the same place behind my rocks and its hard to get a good pic of him.

Brandon

mrbheagney
09-02-2008, 17:54
Thank you.

mrbheagney
09-02-2008, 17:56
That really wicked, do you know the specific classification of this species?

NeveSSL
09-02-2008, 21:31
I'm not up to snuff on scientific naming, but if you're asking for the species, I think its a Petrolisthes. :)

Brandon

mrbheagney
09-02-2008, 23:12
Sounds good, I wonder what the petrol part refer too?

NeveSSL
09-03-2008, 00:03
Not sure! Interesting point, though.

Brandon

mrbheagney
09-03-2008, 00:35
How much do one of these cost?

NeveSSL
09-03-2008, 00:53
Online about $6 each. In LFS (local fish stores) about $10-$15. :)

Brandon

mrbheagney
09-03-2008, 12:51
Life is cheap. More pics of these animals would be great. I like to see the colour variations. Are they hardy animals in captivity?

NeveSSL
09-03-2008, 13:45
Mine has been very hardy. Even regrowing a claw he lost. :)

I've had mine for over a year now. He just keeps molting and eating! :) BTW, when they molt, holy cow it looks just like the crab is DEAD. Freaked me out the first 2 or 3 times, not just the first!

Brandon

mrbheagney
09-03-2008, 18:09
I was not aware that they could regenerate, that is amazing. I wonder how big they can grow. In the wild I have only ever seen them as tiny animals. How long does the molting process take would you say? I watched a scorpion fish shed its skin once an that was cool to see. I sat in the same place at three meters for about 45 minutes watching it. I will put the shots in the Scorpionfish thread.

NeveSSL
09-03-2008, 20:12
I was VERY shocked to see him with a new claw after molting! I KNOW he lost one on his way home... I was shocked to see one come back. It was very weird, but cool! :)

I'm not sure how long the process takes. He stays in the "background" of the tank all the time so I only know he molts because of all the pieces of him I see everywhere. :)

Brandon

Brandon

mrbheagney
09-03-2008, 20:26
You'll need to put that tank on a glass table so you can investigate more readily.

drako
09-04-2008, 01:30
If I remember it takes them a couple of days for the molt. If I remember correctly they were named "Porcelain" crabs because they break like porcelain. They detach claws rather easily. Really fantastic creatures...if my old computer did not crash I would have some pics.
Neve have you been able to observe at night? Have you thought about changing the flow (if you dont already have coral set up to benefit from the flow) ?

mrbheagney
09-04-2008, 01:55
That is really cool to find out little pieces of info like where the name comes from. When I give post dive briefings I often discuss the life we saw down there and it makes for a great surface interval. People seem to enjoy the diving much more when they find out a little about what they have seen. I had always thought it was maybe because of the white with fine pattern on top like your mums fine china. Until I seen Neve's black one. I have only ever observed white ones in the wild. Great thread shedding light on these little critters.

mrbheagney
09-04-2008, 01:57
If I remember it takes them a couple of days for the molt. If I remember correctly they were named "Porcelain" crabs because they break like porcelain. They detach claws rather easily. Really fantastic creatures...if my old computer did not crash I would have some pics.
Neve have you been able to observe at night? Have you thought about changing the flow (if you dont already have coral set up to benefit from the flow) ?

It is possible to recover info from the hard drive of a crashed computer - drop it into the shop.

NeveSSL
09-04-2008, 21:52
Not tried to observe at night. And yeah, my flow is setup for my corals. :)

FWIW, he's not black. Hes a slightly-dark gray. :)

I've always heard they're called porcelain crabs because they look like porcelain. ???

Brandon

Aussie
09-04-2008, 22:42
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2371/2829824866_762359fc9c.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3162/2737734058_27c2178067.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3088/2606579819_686d856500.jpg

mrbheagney
09-06-2008, 03:05
Fantastic pics, thanks alot. It is very easy to see the filter feeding apparatus on the first one, in action too. Great colour, you really nailed them.