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Squat Lobsters & Porcelain Crabs, Families Galatheidae & Porcellanidae

By Bob Fenner

Allgalathea elegans

Much like the related Hermit Crabs, this is a group of Anomurans with oval bodies, pointed rostrums. They're called lobsters due to their long chelipeds. There are some very striking members of the Galatheids, though most are small, found as commensals on corals and crinoids.

Family Porcellanidae; Porcelain, Anemone Crabs. Live within Anemones tentacles. Will chase out Clownfishes if they can... or be chased out by them. Filter feeders (use modified, long third maxillipeds) that can do well in captivity. Movable abdomen aids them in rapid movement. Mainly Neopetrolisthes, Petrolisthes, Petrocheles. Typified as having flattened chelipeds, long antennae. 

Neopetrolisthes maculata (H. Milne Edwards 1837). Flattened, large chelipeds. White body with fine red spotting. Commensal with (and sometimes in the mouth of) anemones. West Pacific; Australia, Indonesia, Philippines. N. Sulawesi pix. 

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Neopetrolisthes ohshimai Miyake 1937, the Spotted Anemone Crab. Indo-Australia; including Pacific Islands. Almost always found in pairs in the wild (have to be bought as such if keeping two). Chased from Anemones by Clownfishes. Large red spots on creamy white bodies. Aquarium and N. Sulawesi images. 

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Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available) Linked
Petrolisthes galathinus, or  Shame-Faced Crabs. Live on sand substrates, tropical seas worldwide. One to a tank, not to be trusted with invertebrates. Okay with burrowing fishes. Take all foods, nocturnal.

Porcellanella picta Stimpson 1858. Whitish to translucent bodied. Found in association with  Sea Pens ( Pteroeides, Veritellum spp.). Females larger. Western Pacific; Japan, Philippines, Indonesia. N. Sulawesi pix. 

Porcellanella sp. N. Sulawesi (Lembeh Strait) pic. 

Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available

Family Galatheidae: Squat Lobsters

Allogalathea elegans (White 1847). Color variable with species of commensal crinoid it's found on. Bear a mid-line "racing stripe" except in cases of all red (on red featherstars) individuals. Western Pacific; Australia, Enewetak, Indonesia. To 2 cm. N. Sulawesi pix.

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Lauriea siagiani Baba 1994. Hairy (Sponge) Squat Lobster. Gorgeous pink color with purple stripes on body and legs, similarly colored spots on chelipeds, many white and pink spines on body. Almost always occurs on Xestospongia (large brown vase sponges). N. Sulawesi pix. 

Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.
  
Galathea sp.U1 N. Sulawesi pix.

Galathea sp.U2 N. Sulawesi pix.

Galathea sp. U3 N. Sulawesi pic. Here on Halimeda.

Galathea sp.  U4 N. Sulawesi pic. Here on a sponge.


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