PORT PHILLIP BAY


Thorn-legged Crab 

Actaea peronii Milne Edwards, 1834

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Carapace with areas well separated by deep grooves, with mosaic-like tubercles or squamiform or nodiform tubercles, without setae; posterolateral margins nearly straight. Chelipeds not swollen, fingers without rigid setae on cutting edges. Walking legs granular or spinose. Male sternites 3 and 4 separated by suture only laterally. Male abdominal somite 6 with pair of depressions on posterolateral corners (part of locking mechanism).

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:
Xanthidae
Subfamily:
Actaeinae
Genus:
Actaea
Species:
peronii

Other Names

  • Spiky Stone Crab

General Description

Carapace with plate-like tubercles anteriorly; anterolateral margin with 5 rounded lobes. Claws (chelipeds) with shiny tubercles. Walking legs covered with numerous long blunt spines. Carapace red or orange, often with patches of white on legs. Up to 2 cm wide.

Biology

Actaea peronii is one of the commonest and most colourful small crabs in the sediments of the southern Australian shelf but is rarely seen intertidally or in bays. It is certainly one of the easiest to recognise.

Habitat

Intertidal, to 110 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

2 cm

Diet

Organic matter

Harmful

Not harmful but a nip from claws could be painful.

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Species Code

MoV 1656

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, Thorn-legged Crab, Actaea peronii, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5501

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