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FAQs about the Galatheoids called Squat Lobsters, Family Galatheidae

Related Articles: Squat Lobsters, Hermit Crabs, Crabs

Related FAQs: Hermit Crabs 1Micro-Crustaceans, Amphipods, Copepods, Mysids, Hermit Crabs, Shrimps, Cleaner Shrimps, Banded Coral Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, Anemone Eating Shrimp


Crab identification   5/7/14
Hi Bob,
I know the quality of photos is not great, I found this crab under my Tubastrea micanthra, it did have pincers but lost them whilst being removed, they looked a bit sharp. Please can you identify what crab it is?
Is there likely more?
<The pix are too small, poorly resolved... B>

Re: Crab identification   5/7/14
I thought that would be the case, I have been looking through your crab identifications and it looks identical to a squat lobster which someone else also found on their sun coral, are they reef safe?
<Very much so>

Do they live in sun corals and are they commensal? I don't trust crabs at all!
<Mmm; well; these aren't "true" crabs... BobF>

Invert Inquiry... zapatas comp.     10/26/11
Hello all, I am interested in purchasing a Scllarides <You're missing a 'y'> squammosus (pygmy slipper lobster), but have been unable to find anything, but general information about the genus. I know that they are nocturnal predators and like crabs, clams, etc., but are fish at risk? The lobster would be going into a 180g pseudo reef - it started as a FOWLR, but I've been slowly adding soft corals to the tank. Current fish inhabitants include a tassle filefish, orange spot filefish, camel cowfish (terasomas gibbosus), Copperband butterfly, cherub pygmy angel, carberryi Anthias and a squamipinnis Anthias. I'll be adding a black velvet angelfish soon - he's in his 5th week of QT. Would the Scllarides squammosus be a threat to the fish? Thank you for your help, Eric
<Might be to the angels and fancy basses. Bob Fenner>

There's a crab living in my brain! 11/26/08 Crew - In the picture below you will see my green open brain (Trachyphyllia geoffroyi) coral that I've had for about a year now. As will see there is a very dark, black in fact, spot on the tissue of the brain. In the center, if you look real close, you will see a raised almost circular disk. That "disk" if you will is the shell of a very small what I presume to be hermit crab (I can actually see tiny claws emerge from behind the disk when I feed the brain!). <Mmm, not likely a "Hermit", but other animal... perhaps a Squat Lobster: http://wetwebmedia.com/galatheids.htm> The crab has inhabited the brain since I purchased the coral but at that point I had no clue that it'd be a crab actually living within the tissue of the animal as I thought the disk to be a natural part of the coral (it was not black when I bought the animal). Ok, so where do go from here? <"Which is the way to beer?"> I can tell you that the coral does not appear to be stressed (but who really knows) about the ordeal but I have to imagine that there could be a down side here at some point. Or maybe I am wrong and there is a natural symbiotic relationship between the two living beings and life goes on. <This is the route I would go> So, there you have it; your response much appreciated for sure. [IMG] http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p151/gdevine_photo/OpenBrainwithHermit.jpg[/IMG] <There are many types and degrees of "living together"... that can be more deleterious to the host than what one might desire... But in this case... you've had both of these animals for "about a year now"... I'd keep both and enjoy them... Perhaps the Galatheid "does things" for the Trachyphylliid... keeps out other, more harmful predators perchance. Bob Fenner>

Squat lobster and pom pom crab  2/2/08 Would you like some photos for your website? The squat lobster was labeled "Allogalathea elegans" when I bought it, but I'm skeptical of that ID. The second image is a shot of the underside of the squat lobster. <Good pix> The pom pom crab's anemones are a little droopy in this photo, but he was just out of the shipping bag. 6 months later, his anemones are gorgeous. You don't have to reply, but feel free to use the photos if you'd like. Just wanted to share. ~Felicia <Again, thank you for your efforts. BobF> Felicia, might I ask... are you a content provider in our interest? You seem to be more than a casual hobbyist... Are you interested in writing articles, selling image work in this field? Bob Fenner.

Hitchhiker ID - 6/3/07 Hi all, <Hi there!> I was looking over my new sun corals and saw tiny antennas and what looked like a long arm. As it moved to the small rock supporting the sun coral, I quickly got a cup, moved my sun corals and scooped the rock into the cup. Drained the water and out it came. < Nice work! Nice photos, by the way too, for such a small subject!> Its arms are 1/4" and its body is 1/8" (approximate) so it's a tiny critter. Any ideas what kind it is? <HooWee, it's a tiny crustacean with an big attitude, that's what! My first impression is that it reminds me of a small/juvenile Galatheid, or squat lobster instead of a true crab. Unfortunately, that's about as close as I can get. Identifying adult crustaceans can be an extreme challenge in itself, but when you're talking about juveniles, it's even more difficult. Young crustaceans go through several stages and molts, changing every time, so unfortunately identification can be next to impossible.> After reading the statement on the site (I don't trust any crabs) not sure what to do with it. <Understandable. I don't trust crabs either. No matter how small and innocent looking they start out, most grow up with the potential to cause real problems. One thing going for your little critter right now is that it's so small. Also, if (and that's a big "if") it is a Galatheid, they tend to stay small and some are even commensals. It's a gamble, but if you like it and want to keep it, just keep an eye out and remove if necessary. More re: Galatheids here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/galatheids.htm > Its arms are pink and white. Its body is clear with a blue/green tinge on the left and right and a yellow orange spot up near its head. It has one very dark line running down the center of its back. It's legs are pink and white stripped. Its beady little eyes are red. <Heheeee, well whatever it is, it's pretty - despite the beady little eyes! Good luck! -Lynn>

Re: Hitchhiker ID - 6/3/07 So sorry, accidentally sent it before saying thank you... thanks again for a great site. Regards, Debra
<Thank you! -Lynn>

That wasn't a rock, it was/is a squat lobstah! RMF

Squat lobsters repro.  - 04/01/2006 HI Bob, <Am out in HI... Hello there> I've been searching endlessly to try and figure out how squat lobsters reproduce - SO. quick Question - how do squat lobsters reproduce? Is it similar to how crabs reproduce? <Yes... are anomurans, closer related to Hermits: http://wetwebmedia.com/hermitreprofaqs.htm have variable (by species, conditions) pelagic larval stages... hard to raise to size, stage in captivity w/o specialized culture set-up, food culture... Bob Fenner> Thanks so much for your help Kerry Underdown

Google-eyed fairy crab... Galatheid  11/9/05 Hi I'm Joe. I came across this photo on the web and I would like to have more info on this species. I know it comes form Bali, Indonesia the description the site had is Google-eyed fairy crab aka squat lobster (Galathea sp.). If you have the scientific name or any other info on this I would love to have it. I'm really trying to purchase this lobster for one of tank that only I have crustaceans in. <Not often sold in the trade> And when I call my local fish stores I go to the description I give they don't know what I'm talking about. <Bingo> So if you can help me that will be great. Tank for your time, Joe <Mmm, is a Galatheid... what little info. we have re this group is posted here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/galatheids.htm and the Related FAQs linked above. Squat lobsters aren't hard to keep if you can get them in initially good health, provide a suitable environment sans predators... The few times I've seen other than anemone crabs kept they've been "incidentals" (e.g. LR hitchhikers)... Bob Fenner>

- ID this Thing! - WWM Crew, As many others have said, THANK YOU for the fantastic web site! My wife and I are new to the marine environment, and your website has been extremely helpful. <I'm happy to know you find the information useful.> It has been interesting to say the least to see what is coming out of our LR. <What a great planet we live on...> Some good things (feather dusters, Zoanthids, pods, etc..) and some not so good things (Aiptasia anemones and Bristleworms to say the least).  Attached is the latest thing that came out of our LR.  Our guess is that this is a mantis shrimp. <Nope - it's definitely not one of those.> What do you think? <I think, after looking at it for a while, that you have a Galatheid, a squat lobster - related to the hermit crabs - very neat animals, and also an uncommon acquisition. More about these here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/galatheids.htm > I had several snails die one night.  Could this be the culprit? <Doubtful... snails come and go like the wind, sorry to say.> If this thing is bad, do you have an suggestions on how to eliminate it from the tank? <Even if it were bad, I'd keep it... it's a really neat find, but I'm kind of silly that way. I'd keep an eye on it to make sure it's not a predator. If it is, you'll likely need to trap it out, or remove the rock it's living in and perhaps hose it out with some seltzer water. I hope it doesn't come to that.> Thank you in advance, John <Cheers, J -- >

- But it Wasn't a Rock... it was a Squat Lobster! - J -- Thank you for the quick response! <My pleasure.> WWM Crew, Any comments on the husbandry of this creature? <Not really - as I mentioned, these are very uncommon in the trade so little is known about their captive care.> I checked the url below and the FAQ on squat lobsters and did not find much information. <Again, these are uncommon enough that your questions will likely be the first posted specifically about Galatheids. I think you'll have to let this creature fend for itself - I would continue with typical feeding, etc... if you're lucky, the Galatheid will scavenge what it needs. You could try some direct feedings - either by hand or with tongs... some flake food or meaty seafoods in small pieces - if you're really lucky the Galatheid will be outgoing enough to accept the offerings.> Thank you once again!  John <Cheers, J -- >

Crab picture Dear Mr. Fenner, when I was searching the web for some pictures of porcelain crabs, I found two pictures of "Calappidae" on the crustacean page of WetWebMedia. The crabs on these pictures are porcelain crabs and look like an undescribed species I only know from a small group of islands of the Caribbean coast of Colombia. I would be very interested in more information about the specimens. Do you know where these animals have been found. We are at the moment writing on the description of this new species and I would be very grateful for your help. <Unfortunately, these images were made at a wholesale facility in Los Angeles: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/swcrabs.htm thus I am unaware of anything of value in your query here. You are welcome to utilize these images for your work. Bob Fenner> Holger Dipl. Biol. Holger Kraus Institut f|r Allgemeine und Spezielle Zoologie Justus-Liebig-Universitaet Giessen

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