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Related FAQs: Fishes of Hawai'i, Articles on: The Best Butterflyfishes of Hawai'i, Triggerfishes of Hawai'i

Related Articles: A Fishwatcher's Guide to the Marine Aquarium Fishes of Hawai'i, Introduction to Fishwatcher's Guide Series Pieces/Sections, Scott's Trip to Maui/Hawai'i,  Holualoa property

A Fishwatcher's Guide to the Marine Invertebrates of Hawai'i

Part 3 of 4, To: Part 4, Part 2, Part 1

Bob Fenner

Behind the City of Refuge... Come visit!


Arca ventricosa Lamarck 1819, the Ventricose Ark Shell. One of eight species found in HI. Found through-out Indo-Pacific attached to rocks with straight hinge facing outwards. to eighty feet in depth, three inches in length. A dead shell and a live, attached animal off of the Big Island, Hawai'i. 

Pinctada margaritifera Linnaeus 1758, the Black-Lipped Pearl Oyster. THE pearl oyster of the South Pacific. Indo-Pacific all the way to the Eastern Pacific. To almost a foot in length. Hawai'i pic.  

Spondylus violacescens Lamarck 1819, the Cliff Oyster. As the common name suggests, this bivalve is found on the undersides and clefts of rocks. To four inches in diameter. Empty attached shell often with white middle, purple or orangish ring on inside perimeter. Big Island, Hawai'i. 



Cinetorhynchus hiatti (Holthus & Hayashi 1967), Hiatt's Hinge-Beak Shrimp. Found in shallow, rocky areas of the Indo-Pacific. Kailua, Hawai'i pic. 

Hymenocera picta Dana 1852, the Eastern Harlequin Shrimp. Anterior first pair of legs look like tweezers, second pair covering them. First antennae flap-like... waved around side to side. Live in pairs only.  Noted for their feeding exclusively on echinoderms; starfish and urchins. Central Pacific. To about an inch and a half in length. Aquarium photo. Have red body spots encircled in yellow.

Stenopus hispidus Olivier 1811, the Coral Banded Boxing Shrimp. Worldwide tropical distribution. Males smaller, more slender than females. Keep in reef settings with a cave of their own. May consume small fishes, other crustaceans. Eat most all meaty foods. Aquarium and Hawai'i underwater pix. 

Stenopus pyrsonotus Goy & Devaney 1980, the Ghost Boxing Shrimp. Indo-Pacific, including Hawai'i. Not as hardy as Stenopus hispidus, coming from deeper water. Aquarium and Hawai'i pix. 

Lysmata amboinensis (De Man 1888), the Indo-Pacific White-Striped Cleaner Shrimp or Ambon Shrimp. Widespread in the tropical Indo-Pacific and Red Sea. Telson white, uropods with two white dots. Can be kept singly or in groups. A hardy Cleaner. Need hiding places to avoid predators during molting periods. Conds: temp. 20-27 C. At right: in Hawai'i. 


Parribacus antarcticus, the Sculptured Slipper Lobster. Circumtropical but mainly caught out of the tropical West Atlantic for aquarium use. Nocturnal, and wary of humans. Capable of great bursts of strength, speed in swimming backward. One out at night off of Hawai'i's Big Island.

Panulirus penicillatus (Olivier 1791), the "Hawaiian" Blue Lobster, typically collected out of Hawai'i for the trade, also found in the Eastern Pacific. Conspicuous yellow white lines on brown to green legs. No stripes on back. Dark green tail fan. To about sixteen inches in length. A notorious non-scavenger amongst aquarium lobsters. 

Enoplometopus debelius Holthuis 1982, Debelius' Soft-Bodied/Reef Lobster. Indonesia to Hawai'i. Covered with red/pink spots. Legs, cheliped ends and antennae are colored yellow-orange. to five inches in length.  
Enoplometopus occidentalis (Randall 1840), the Hairy or Red Reef Lobster. Found throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific. White emarginated spots all over the body. Nocturnal. 

Hermit Crabs:  

Aniculus hopperae McLaughlin & Hoover 1996, Hopper's Hermit Crab. Sometimes imported from Hawai'i. Not a hardy aquarium species; apparently a sponge feeder in the wild. To an inch in length. Black eyes, yellow eye stalks, bright red claws bear black tips. Hawaiian endemic. Big Island pic. 

Calcinus laurentae Haig & McLaughlin 1983, Laurent's Hermit Crab, Family Diogenidae. Orange-yellow antennae. Claw-limbs brown, other legs pink with white junctions and black tips.  Hawaiian endemic. Common. To about 1/5" carapace length. Kona pic.  

Dardanus gemmatus H. Milne-Edwards 1848, Jeweled Anemone Hermit Crab. To two inches carapace length. With Calliactis anemones on its shell. Hawai'i image.


Charybdis hawaiiensis Edmonson 1954, the Hawaiian Swimming Crab. The most common large crab in HI. Striped eyes and yellow swimming paddles on last legs are definitive. To about three inches in carapace width. Found in Hawai'i, the Tuamotu and Society Islands. Hawai'i pic. 

Lissocarcinus orbicularis Dana 1852. Harlequin Crab. Variably marked, colored. Free-swimming, but usually found in association (in or on) sea cucumbers and anemones. To about half an inch in carapace diameter. Indo-Mid-Pacific; Hawai'i pix.

Percnon planissimum (Herbst 1804), the Flat Rock Crab. Found in shallows on roundish boulders scurrying out of view. Carapace about one inch in diameter. Nuka Hiva, Marquesas, Polynesia, and Hawai'i pix. 

Trapezia flavopunctata Eydoux & Souleyet 1842, the Yellow-Spotted Guard Crab. Similar marked to its host, Antler Coral (Pocillopora eydouxi). To 1 inch carapace diameter. Indo-Pacific. Hawai'i photos. 

To: Part 4, Part 2, Part 1

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