PORT PHILLIP BAY


Southern Hermit Crab 

Paguristes brevirostris Baker, 1905

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Rostrum broad not exceeding lateral projections. Ocular scales with 7-8 apical spinules, separate. Antennule peduncles longer than eyestalks. Chelipeds subequal; propodi and dactyli covered with large acute spines on lateral and upper surfaces. Pereopods 2 and 3 with dactyli longer than propodi. Pereopod 4 not chelate. No pleurobranch above pereopod 5. Pleopods 1 and 2 paired in male and forming copulatory apparatus, in female only pleopods 1 paired. Telson posterior lobes with about 6 small lateral spines. Female often with brood pouch on left side of abdomen enclosing eggs on the pleopods and covering dorsal side. Colour in life unknown.

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:
Diogenidae
Genus:
Paguristes
Species:
brevirostris

General Description

Claws (chelipeds) subequal, with large sharp spines covered by setae along upper-lateral margin. Moveable plate attached to base of eye stalks (ocular scale) multispinose. Third walking leg (pereopod 4) not chelate. Paired limbs on body segments 1-2 (pleopods 1 and 2) paired in male and forming copulatory apparatus, in female only pleopods 1 paired. Carapace length up to 6 mm.

Biology

Females brood their eggs in a mass attached to the abdomen. Once developed the egg hatches into a zoea which usually swims off to begin life in the plankton. There it goes through several moults as it grows and develops. Eventually the final larval stage will settle on the sea floor before transforming to a juvenile hermit crab.

Habitat

Subtidal, to depths of 360 m.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Southern temperate oceans, including south-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Hermit Crabs

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

6 mm

Diet

Organic matter

Harmful

Not harmful but a nip from large claws could be painful

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Species Code

MoV 1650

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, Southern Hermit Crab, Paguristes brevirostris, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 19 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5459

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