PORT PHILLIP BAY


Hairy Crab 

Pilumnus etheridgei Rathbun, 1923

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Carapace anterolateral margin with 3 sharp spines with bases broad and swollen, usually secondarily tuberculate; carapace with scattered long stiff hairs, especially anteriorly; larger specimens with small spinules close to anterolateral margin of carapace. Cheliped with small stout spines on outer face; walking legs with few tubercles or smooth on upper margin of meri, with spines on carpi and propodi.

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:
Pilumnidae
Subfamily:
Pilumninae
Genus:
Pilumnus
Species:
etheridgei

General Description

Carapace anterolateral margin with 3 sharp spines, usually secondarily tuberculate; carapace with scattered long stiff hairs, especially anteriorly; larger specimens with small spinules close to anterolateral margin of carapace. Cheliped with small stout spines on outer face; walking legs with few tubercles or smooth on upper margin of meri, with spines on carpi and propodi. Up to 17 mm wide.

Biology

Whereas many crabs will attempt to escape when disturbed or captured, pilumnud crabs play dead, curling their legs up to look as inconspicuous as possible. Their camouflage makes them difficult to see even when rocks are turned. This species is common in Bass Strait.

Habitat

Intertidal, to 100 m depth.

Soft substrates

Coastal shores

Distribution guide

Southern temperate oceans, including southern 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

17 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 714

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, Hairy Crab, Pilumnus etheridgei, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 17 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5493

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