PORT PHILLIP BAY


Six-legged Crab 

Hexapinus granuliferus (Campbell & Stephenson, 1970)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Carapace 1.7 times as wide as long; regions poorly defined; lateral margins convex anteriorly, more or less divergent posteriorly; front narrow. Eyes small, reduced, moveable, with cornea scarcely wider than stalk. Chelipeds robust; 3 well developed pairs of walking legs; last pair of legs and sternite absent. Maxilliped 3 ischium width equal to merus length; propodus not strongly dilated. Sternum in male without grooves at end of abdomen (anterolateral triangular excavations in largest individuals). Male abdomen not filling space between last pair of walking legs, abdominal somites 3-5 fused, telson rounded. Female openings sternal.

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:
Hexapodidae
Genus:
Hexapinus
Species:
granuliferus

General Description

Carapace much broader than long, with fine dorsal granulation that is obscured by a mat of hairs in larger individuals. Eyes reduced, moveable. With 3 well developed pairs of extremely hairy walking legs that bear a fringe of longer setae on the margins (last pair of legs and sternite absent). Up to 1.5 cm wide.

Biology

Three pairs of walking legs instead of the usual four are characteristic of the crab family Hexapodidae, to which this species belongs. Another striking feature is the very broad carapace. They are often found in the papery tubes of species of the polychaete genus Chaetopterus.

Habitat

Often found in the papery tubes of species of the polychaete genus Chaetopterus, intertidal to depths of 50 m.

Reefs

Soft substrates

Coastal shores

Distribution guide

Southern temperate oceans, including south-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Crabs and allies Crabs

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

15 mm

Diet

Organic matter

Harmful

Not harmful but a nip from large claws could be painful

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 702

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, Six-legged Crab, Hexapinus granuliferus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5475

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