PORT PHILLIP BAY


Wilson's Sponge Crab 

Metadromia wilsoni (Fulton & Grant, 1902)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Carapace not strongly sculptured, covered with dense tomentum. Anterolateral margin with 3 well developed teeth, 2 directed upward. Rostrum tridentate, lateral teeth rounded. Cheliped with epipod. Walking legs smooth. Walking leg 3 with 1 spine on propodus opposing dactylus, without spines on outer margin. Walking leg 4 shorter than walking leg 1; with 1-2 spines on propodus opposing dactylus plus 1 spine on outer margin; without spine on outer margin of dactylus. Female sternal grooves end apart or together between or behind chelipeds. Uropods usually visible externally. Last 2 somites of abdomen free. Telson rounded.

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:
Dromiidae
Genus:
Metadromia
Species:
wilsoni

Other Names

  • Sponge Crab

General Description

Front margin of carapace margin with 3 well developed teeth, 2 directed upward. Carapace not strongly sculptured but covered with tomentum. Up to 7 cm wide.

Biology

This smooth, grey, hairy crab has three obvious lateral teeth, two directed upwards, and usually covers itself with a sponge or sea squirt. The carapace is unevenly corrugated, with a dense mat of soft hairs. The species grows much larger than any other sponge crab.

Habitat

Subtidal-continental shelf, to depths of 520 m.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

West Pacific, Indian and south Atlantic Oceans, including south-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Crabs and allies Crabs

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

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

Species Code

MoV 3854

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, Wilson's Sponge Crab, Metadromia wilsoni, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 25 Mar 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5469

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