Lybia tessellata (Latreille, 1812)
Rare in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific region. In Australia recorded from the North West Shelf of Western Australia and the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland south to northern New South Wales.
Frequents shallow rocky and coral reef. Depth to at least 15 m.
White carapace with variable orange patches outlined with thin black lines. Thin translucent legs with narrow dark banding and numerous white speckles. It carries a small sea anemone, usually Bunodeopsis spp or Triactis producta, in each chela, holding its chelipeds out horizontally while moving around. If attacked will threaten the aggressor with an anemone, the tentacles of which are well armed with stinging cells. It uses the tentacles of the anemones to collect food particles which it then removes with its mobile maxillipeds. Grows to about 20 mm across the carapace.
Reef Creature Identification, Tropical Pacific. Paul Humann, Ned DeLoach, New World Publications Inc, Jacksonville, Florida, USA, 2012 edition. p.189.
Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific, Terrence M. Gosliner, David W. Behrens and Gary C. Williams, Sea Challengers Publication, Monterey, California. 1996. p.239.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=lybia+tessellata. Accessed 13/11/2018.