PORT PHILLIP BAY


Tuberculate Pear Crab 

Pyromaia tuberculata (Lockington, 1877)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Carapace pyriform, with tubercles and spines; rostrum simple. Latero-external parts of pleurites 5-8 extend beyond the side of the carapace. Postorbital spine curving around eye. Walking legs elongate, with curved dactyli. Cheliped of male short and inflated.

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:
Inachoididae
Subfamily:
Inachoidinae
Genus:
Pyromaia
Species:
tuberculata

Other Names

  • American Spider Crab

General Description

Carapace pear-shaped with tubercles and spines; rostrum simple. Basal antennal article without strong spine on ventrolateral margin. Walking legs elongate, with curved dactyli. Up to 3 cm long.

Biology

This small, pale, thin-legged crab was first discovered in Port Phillip Bay in about 1990, having been introduced by shipping. It is the only common shallow-water species with a single, rather than paired, rostrum on a simple pear-shaped body. It is certain now to be an important food source for demersal fishes.

Habitat

Subtidal muddy sediments to 412 m depth.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Indo-Pacific oceans, inclduing south-eastern and south-western Australia.

Species Group

Crabs and allies Crabs

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

3 cm

Diet

Organic matter

Harmful

Not harmful but a nip from large claws could be painful.

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Introduced to Australia

Species Code

MoV 1659

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, Tuberculate Pear Crab, Pyromaia tuberculata, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 19 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5489

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