Species Index

Odontodactylus scyllarus
(Linnaeus, 1758)

Distribution: Relatively common throughout the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific region, South and East Africa to Hawaii, north to southern Japan, south to Australia. In Australia recorded from the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland south to central New South Wales.

Ecological Notes: Frequents sand and rubble bottom, to at least 70 m depth, where it constructs a double ended burrow.

Additional Notes: Striking colouration aids identification. Sometimes seen close to burrow during daylight, is primarily a nocturnal feeder. A voracious predator of other crustaceans, fish and molluscs, which are caught by the large second legs. These legs are either grasping with sharp spines, or have a swollen hammer like structure used to batter the prey. Grows to about 140 mm.

References: Davie, Peter. Wild Guide to Moreton Bay and Adjacent Coasts. Second Edition. Published by Queensland Museum. Vol 2, p. 204.

Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific, Terrence M. Gosliner, David W. Behrens and Gary C. Williams, Sea Challengers Publication, Monterey, California. 1996. p.197.

Diana Jones, Gary Morgan, Western Australian Museum, A field guide to Crustaceans of Australian Waters, 1994 published by Reed, William Heinemann Australia. p.42.