PORT PHILLIP BAY


Mole Crab 

Albunea groeningi Boyko, 2002

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Carapace front broad, armed with spines; hepatic anterolateral spines absent; branchiostegite unarmed. Rostrum present, acute. Distal peduncular segments flattened, triangular, cornea present. Antennule dorsal flagellum with 48-139 articles, ventral flagellum with one to five articles. Antenna segment I armed; flagellum with five to eight articles. Maxilliped III carpal projection short; crista dentata absent or weak; exopod slender. Pereopod I dactylus with dorsal margin smooth; propodal cutting edge smooth; distodorsal carpal spine present. Telson exhibiting strong sexual dimorphism.

Source: Boyko, C. (2002). A worldwide revision of the Recent and fossil sand crabs of the Albuneidae Stimpson and Blepharipodidae, new family (Crustacea: Decapoda: Anomura: Hippoidea). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 272:1-396.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Subphylum:
Crustacea
Class:
Malacostraca
Subclass:
Eumalacostraca
Superorder:
Eucarida
Order:
Decapoda
Suborder:
Pleocyemata
Infraorder:
Anomura
Family:
Albuneidae
Genus:
Albunea
Species:
groeningi

Other Names

  • Sand Crab

General Description

Carapace wider than long, covered with lightly setose grooves. Anterior margin with 8-11 spines on either side of ocular sinus. Last segment (dactylus) of second walking leg (pereopod 3) heel acute. Male tailfan (telson) ovate, indented at tip, lateral margins straight. Carapace up to 1.7 cm long.

Biology

Albuneids, sand crabs, burrow deeply in sand and are therefore rarely taken. It has been suggested that species of the genus Albunea are filter feeders, collecting suspended food particles with the long first antennae but this theory has been discredited by others proposing that they are scavengers or predators. It has previously been assumed that the genus is blind because of the highly modified and weakly pigmented eyes. Recently scientists have noted that members of this genus have faceted corneas and, as such, must possess more than just minimal light/dark-resolving vision.

Habitat

Intertidal, to depths of 46 m.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia.

Species Group

Crabs and allies False crabs

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

1.7 cm

Diet

Organic matter

Harmful

Not harmful but a nip from large claws could be painful

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

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, Mole Crab, Albunea groeningi, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 21 Sep 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5456

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