PORT PHILLIP BAY


Soldier Crab 

Mictyris platycheles Milne Edwards, 1852

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Carapace and maxillipeds covered by large granules. Rostrum triangular. Posterior border produced but not overlapping curve of abdomen. Anterolateral spines connected by ridges to anterior branchial regions. Male with broad triangular proximal tooth on dactylus of cheliped passing behind fixed finger when closed. Blue with underside and branchial regions paler, legs brown-yellow.

Source: Poore, G.C.B. (2004) Marine decapod Crustacea of southern Australia. A guide to identification (with chapter on Stomatopoda by Shane Ahyong). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, 574 pp.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Subphylum:
Crustacea
Class:
Malacostraca
Subclass:
Eumalacostraca
Superorder:
Eucarida
Order:
Decapoda
Suborder:
Pleocyemata
Infraorder:
Brachyura
Family:
Mictyridae
Genus:
Mictyris
Species:
platycheles

General Description

Body spherical, light blue above, white underneath, red-purple patch on each side. Legs white. Up to 2 cm wide (carapace).

Biology

Soldier Crabs move in large groups across exposed sand flats at low tide, looking for plant and animal matter left by the retreating water. When disturbed all the animals quickly burrow under the surface, corkscrewing into an instantly made shallow cavity in the sand. They walk forward, instead of sideways like other crabs.

Habitat

Sand areas and mud flats.

Soft substrates

Coastal shores

Distribution guide

Southern Australian coast, including central and eastern Victoria.

Species Group

Crabs and allies Crabs

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

2 cm

Diet

Carnivore

Harmful

Not harmful but a nip from large claws could be painful.

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 1421

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Taylor, J.

Dr. Jo Taylor is the Sciences Collections Online Coordinator at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Poore, G.C.B.

Dr. Gary Poore is Principal Curator Emeritus at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Taylor, J. & Poore, G.C.B., 2011, Soldier Crab, Mictyris platycheles, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Nov 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/3990

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