Neopetrolisthes maculatus (H. Milne Edwards, 1837)

Neopetrolisthes maculatus
Neopetrolisthes maculatus
Ian Shaw
Thursday, 3 April 2014
Nth Solitary Island
Common name: Porcelain Crab

Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park wherever giant anemones are found. Also known from tropical east and west Australia, Indonesia, Philippines and China.

Ecological Notes:

Lives on the disc of giant anemones, commonly Heteractis crispa in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. This small crab is a filter feeder; their mouthparts have long setae (bristles) which they use like a broom to sweep small organisms out of the water column (see photograph).

Additional Notes:

Flattened chelipeds, bright orange or red spots help identify this species. Colouration may vary, some specimens being very pale. Usually found in pairs, they defend their territory vigorously against intruders. Carapace size to around 30mm in width.