PORT PHILLIP BAY


Spiny Porcelain Crab 

Petrocheles australiensis (Miers, 1876)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Antenna peduncle with moveable articles freely accessible to orbit, basal article not produced. Carapace cordate, wider posteriorly, with strongly produced triangular rostrum; lateral margins with strong spines. Protogastric region with pair of spines. Rostrum with 3 (usually 4) spines each side. Chelipeds subequal; chela long, slender and flattened; carpus with 6-7 strong spines on inner margins. Telson with 5 plates.

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:
Anomura
Family:
Porcellanidae
Genus:
Petrocheles
Species:
australiensis

General Description

Carapace flat and shiny, wide at the back and narrower toward the front. Claws are flattened and extend out in front of the body. Rear legs smaller than others. Mouth surrounded by hairy feeding limbs. Up to 2 cm long (carapace).

Biology

Spiny Porcelain Crabs are active, aggressive animals, but they are probably filter feeders. Their long antennae and small fifth legs distinguish them from true crabs.

Habitat

Intertidal areas under large stones on exposed coasts, to depth of 25 m.

Reefs

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Crabs and allies False crabs

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

2 cm

Diet

Carnivore

Harmful

Not harmful but a nip from claws could be painful.

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 1712

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, Spiny Porcelain Crab, Petrocheles australiensis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 17 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/4200

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