PORT PHILLIP BAY


Semi-smooth Nut Crab 

Ebalia crassipes (Bell, 1855)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Carapace rhomboidal or nearly so, convex, regions well delineated, with 3 or 4 sublateral tubercles, apparently smooth but minutely punctate; front narrow, produced, margin with 2 or 4 teeth between orbits. Orbits open to antennal fossa. Hepatic region with slight projection; lateral margins with 3 weak projections, most-posterior projection more widely separated from middle one than anterior one; midposterior projection triangular, posterolateral angles rounded. Exopod of maxilliped 3 distinctly shorter than endopod. Abdominal somites 3-6 fused (sometimes 3-5 in male). Male without teeth on abdominal somite 6 or telson; abdominal somite 1 much smaller than 2.

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:
Leucosiidae
Subfamily:
Ebaliinae
Genus:
Ebalia
Species:
crassipes

General Description

Posterior margin of carapace with 1 or more projections, anterolateral margin weakly swollen; carapace smooth or covered with slender spines. Up to 13 mm long.

Biology

The Leucosiidae, aptly known as nut crabs or pebble crabs, are a readily recognisable family of small crabs that are common on soft sediments from the intertidal shore to shelf and slope depths. Species of Ebalia use the complex mouthparts to break up their prey, small invertebrates that are captured by the claws probed into the sediment.

Habitat

Subtidal, to depths of 4-99 m.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Southern temperate oceans, including southern Australia.

Species Group

Crabs and allies Crabs

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

13 mm

Diet

Organic matter

Harmful

Not harmful but a nip from claws could be painful.

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 712

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, Semi-smooth Nut Crab, Ebalia crassipes, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5479

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