PORT PHILLIP BAY


Common Hairy Crab 

Pilumnus tomentosus Latreille, 1825

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Carapace with submarginal 1-3 tall erect spines near anterolateral margin and sometimes 1 behind orbit; frontal lobes separated by deep narrow notch, each lobe with tubercles; carapace, chelipeds and walking legs with even covering of stiff hairs, no clubbed setae; posterolateral region of carapace subtly convex.

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:
tomentosus

General Description

Carapace with submarginal 1-3 tall erect spines near anterolateral margin and sometimes 1 behind orbit; frontal lobes separated by deep narrow notch, each lobe with tubercles; carapace, chelipeds and walking legs with even covering of stiff hairs, no clubbed setae. 38 mm.

Biology

As the name suggests, this is the most common hairy crab intertidally where it hides under boulders. 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.

Habitat

Subtidal to 310 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

38 mm

Diet

Organic matter

Harmful

Not harmful but a nip from large claws could be painful

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Species Code

MoV 3871

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, Common Hairy Crab, Pilumnus tomentosus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 19 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5496

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