PORT PHILLIP BAY


Decorator Crab 

Microhalimus deflexifrons (Haswell, 1880)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Carapace pear-shaped, strongly narrowing anteriorly, without mesogastric tubercle; surface setose between groups of strong curled setae. Rostral spines diverging. Supraorbital margin comprising eave without preorbital, with weak or no antorbital spine, without intercalated spine, and with a postorbital spine remote from the eye and offering no protection. Walking legs with propodi cylindrical.

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:
Majidae
Subfamily:
Majinae
Genus:
Microhalimus
Species:
deflexifrons

General Description

Carapace pear-shaped, strongly narrowing anteriorly, without mesogastric tubercle; surface setose between groups of strong curled setae. Rostral spines diverging. Supraorbital margin comprising eave without preorbital, with weak or no antorbital spine, without intercalated spine, and with a postorbital spine remote from the eye and offering no protection. Walking legs with sixth segment (propodi) cylindrical. Up to 1.5 cm wide.

Biology

Some decorator crabs are difficult to find because of the camouflage they accumulate over their body. The camouflage of algae, sponges, sea mosses, etc., is attached by hooks or grows directly on the exoskeleton and mimics the crab's environment, sometimes completely hiding the animal. This species has been referred in the past to the genus Naxia from which it differs in the absence of intercalated spine and having cylindrical propodi on the walking legs.

Habitat

Subtidal to 71 m depth.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Southern temperate 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

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 3865

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, Decorator Crab, Microhalimus deflexifrons, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5483

Text: creative commons cc by licence