Calico Box Crab
If you go diving in the western Atlantic Ocean from the Chesapeake Bay to the Dominican Republic, you may run into this gorgeous crab, the Calico Box Crab, Hepatus epheliticus. It lives in shallow water at depths of up to 46 metres (151 ft) on sandy and muddy substrates. It often carries the sea anemone Calliactis tricolor on its back, or lies buried in the sand, with only its eyes exposed. More about this species: Encyclopedia of LifeImage by Katie Ahlfeld via Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology 

Calico Box Crab

If you go diving in the western Atlantic Ocean from the Chesapeake Bay to the Dominican Republic, you may run into this gorgeous crab, the Calico Box Crab, Hepatus epheliticus. It lives in shallow water at depths of up to 46 metres (151 ft) on sandy and muddy substrates. It often carries the sea anemone Calliactis tricolor on its back, or lies buried in the sand, with only its eyes exposed.

More about this species: Encyclopedia of Life

Image by Katie Ahlfeld via Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology 

libutron
libutron:

Purple Mangrove Crab (Ucides cordatus) - Brazil | ©Pedro Bernardo
Endemic from Florida (US) to the South Brazilian coast, Ucides cordatus exhibits territorial behaviur, living in individual burrows up to 2 m deep. 
This crab plays a very important ecological role in mangrove areas, because its burrow activity is essential for soil drainage and aeration, and nutrient exchange between water and sediments.
U. cordatus is considered a keystone species of neotropical mangrove forest, and also it represents in Brazil  a valuable fishery resource, exploited by local fishermen, both for their subsistence and also as a cash income source.
[Source]

libutron:

Purple Mangrove Crab (Ucides cordatus) - Brazil | ©Pedro Bernardo

Endemic from Florida (US) to the South Brazilian coast, Ucides cordatus exhibits territorial behaviur, living in individual burrows up to 2 m deep. 

This crab plays a very important ecological role in mangrove areas, because its burrow activity is essential for soil drainage and aeration, and nutrient exchange between water and sediments.

U. cordatus is considered a keystone species of neotropical mangrove forest, and also it represents in Brazil  a valuable fishery resource, exploited by local fishermen, both for their subsistence and also as a cash income source.

[Source]

mucholderthen
mucholderthen:

Lybia edmondsoni: THE FABULOUS POM-POM CRAB Posted by Matthew Cobb at Why Evolution Is True 

Lybia is a genus of small crabs in the family Xanthidae.  Their common names include boxer crabs, boxing crabs and pom-pom crabs.
They are notable for their mutualism with sea anemones, which they hold in their claws for defense. In return, the anemones get carried around which may enable them to capture more food particles with their tentacles. [Wikipedia]

PHYLOGENYAnimalia  >  Arthropoda  >  Crustacea  >  Malacostraca  >  Decapoda  >Brachyura  >  Xanthidae  >  Lybia
And this looks like Lybia edmondsoni Takeda & Miyake, 1970

mucholderthen:

Lybia edmondsoni: THE FABULOUS POM-POM CRAB 
Posted by Matthew Cobb at Why Evolution Is True 

Lybia is a genus of small crabs in the family Xanthidae.  Their common names include boxer crabs, boxing crabs and pom-pom crabs.

They are notable for their mutualism with sea anemones, which they hold in their claws for defense. In return, the anemones get carried around which may enable them to capture more food particles with their tentacles. [Wikipedia]

PHYLOGENY
Animalia  >  Arthropoda  >  Crustacea  >  Malacostraca  >  Decapoda  >
Brachyura  >  Xanthidae  >  Lybia

And this looks like Lybia edmondsoni Takeda & Miyake, 1970

theatlantic

theatlantic:

What the World Looks Like (When You’re a Crab Net)

This is how one marine explorer summed up the ecosystem that has established itself below the ocean’s surface: “Darling, it’s better down where it’s wetter, take it from me.”

We have generally taken his word for it.

Thanks to an enterprising videographer, though, we can test Sebastian’s claim for ourselves. In late December, Scott Murray had a crazy idea: to attach a GoPro camera to a crab net—and see, vicariously, what the net saw. And what the net saw is pretty amazing: crabs, clawing over food. Rays. Fish, in glittering schools. A FREAKING DOLPHIN.

Read more.

astronomy-to-zoology

astronomy-to-zoology:

Mangrove Tree Crab (Aratus pisonii)

…a species of semi-terrestrial Sesarmid crab which inhabits mangrove trees in tropical and subtropical parts of the Americas, ranging from Florida to Brazil and Nicaragua to Peru. A. pisonii typically inhabits red mangroves (Rhizophora mangle) but is known to inhabit white and black mangroves as well, it will ascend to these trees when the tide rises and descend to the mud when the tide goes down. 

Mangrove tree crabs feed mostly on the leaves of the mangrove trees they inhabit. However, they are omnivores and will prefer animal matter if possible, typically feeding on small invertebrates and carrion.

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Crustacea-Malacostraca-Decapoda-Brachyura-Sesarmidae-Aratus-A. pisonii

Images: Fabio Mandredini and kaeagles

More Creatures Discovered in the Deep Sea of the Antarctic

by Liz Langley

A sea snail feeding off a dead octopus’ beak is among the 30 new species found during an expedition to Antarctica‘s Amundsen Sea (map), according to the first study to shed light on the sea’s bottom dwellers.

The newfound sea snail, or limpet, is from a group that specializes in feeding on the decaying beaks of squid, octopi, and their relatives, according to study leader Katrin Linse of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

Linse and a team of marine biologists from BAS and other institutions hauled up 5,469 specimens belonging to 275 species from the depths of the little-explored sea of the Southern Ocean during a 2008 research cruise.

That year, scientists on the RSS James Clark Ross took advantage of the thin summer ice to get close to the edge of the ice shelf and bring up the thousands of specimens, including some newly discovered in Antarctic waters. At least 10 percent of all the species collected are new to science, and the figure is likely to rise, Linse said.

It’s taken a global team years to identify and categorize only a small fraction of the species, which are described October 1 in the journal Continental Shelf Research

(read more: National Geo)

photos by British Antarctic Survey - A young king crab, Neolithodes yaldwyni, Common Heart Urchin, Antarctic octopus, Pareledone turqueti, Bristle Cage Worm

2013 National Geographic Photo Contest Winners:
(Nature category) -   A hermit crab (Pagurus anachoretus) on a calcareous tube of a feather duster worm (Sabella spallanzani), a marine annelid worm. It is easier for the crab to collect its food here, which is transported by the current. It’s very difficult to approach the worm without it closing quickly. 
Photo by Lorenzo Terraneom
(via: the Boston Globe)

2013 National Geographic Photo Contest Winners:

(Nature category) -   A hermit crab (Pagurus anachoretus) on a calcareous tube of a feather duster worm (Sabella spallanzani), a marine annelid worm. It is easier for the crab to collect its food here, which is transported by the current. It’s very difficult to approach the worm without it closing quickly.

Photo by Lorenzo Terraneom

(via: the Boston Globe)

astronomy-to-zoology

astronomy-to-zoology:

Chinese Mitten Crab (Eriocheir sinensis)

Also known as the big sluice crab or the Shanghai hairy crab, the Chinese mitten crab is a species of varunid crab that is native to the coastal estuaries of eastern Asia, ranging from Korea to the Fujian province of China. It has also been introduced to Europe and North America and is considered and invasive species.Like other crabs E. sinensis feeds on a wide variety of things ranging from plants, various invertebrates, fish and detritus. 

E. sinensis spends most of its life in fresh water, but return to tidal estuaries to mate. After mating they will return to brackish water to hatch their eggs. After development the juvenile crabs will move upstream, completing the life cycle.

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Crustacea-Malacostraca-Decapoda-Brachyura-Varunidae-Eriocheir-E. sinensis

Images: Natural History Museum and Blickwinkel/Alamy 

Meet Blinky, the 3 Eyed Crab
by Michael Marshall
Meet Blinky. This tiny freshwater crab has three eyes, just like its mutant fish namesake from The Simpsons. But unlike the fictional Blinky, whose deformity is blamed on nuclear waste, this crab may actually be a pair of conjoined twins, one of which is nothing but part of the head.
Gerhard Scholtz of the Humboldt University of Berlin in Germany found the Amarinus lacustris crab in the Hoteo river on New Zealand’s North Island in 2007. Instead of the usual two compound eyes, it has three. It also has a peculiar structure on its back, rather like an antenna. No animal has been seen with this particular pattern of deformities before.
When Scholtz and colleagues took a closer look, they found that the crab’s brain had not developed properly either. It was unusually small, and somewhat deformed…
(read more: New Scientist)
photo: Gerhard Scholtz, Peter K. L. Ng and Stephen Moore

Meet Blinky, the 3 Eyed Crab

by Michael Marshall

Meet Blinky. This tiny freshwater crab has three eyes, just like its mutant fish namesake from The Simpsons. But unlike the fictional Blinky, whose deformity is blamed on nuclear waste, this crab may actually be a pair of conjoined twins, one of which is nothing but part of the head.

Gerhard Scholtz of the Humboldt University of Berlin in Germany found the Amarinus lacustris crab in the Hoteo river on New Zealand’s North Island in 2007. Instead of the usual two compound eyes, it has three. It also has a peculiar structure on its back, rather like an antenna. No animal has been seen with this particular pattern of deformities before.

When Scholtz and colleagues took a closer look, they found that the crab’s brain had not developed properly either. It was unusually small, and somewhat deformed…

(read more: New Scientist)

photo: Gerhard Scholtz, Peter K. L. Ng and Stephen Moore

astronomy-to-zoology

astronomy-to-zoology:

Mictyris brevidactylus

…a species of soldier crab that occurs in Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore and parts Indonesia. Like other soldier crabs this species will congregate in large groups during low tide and will filter the sand for small animals. When the tide moves in or if they are threatened they will bury themselves back in the the sand in a corckscrew pattern

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Crustacea-Malacostraca-Decapoda-Brachyura-Mictyridae-Mictyris-M. brevidactylus

Image(s): Wayne Lee

astronomy-to-zoology

astronomy-to-zoology:

Caribbean Hermit Crab (Coenobita clypaetus)

…Also known as the soldier crab, West Atlantic crab or tree crab, the Caribbean hermit crab is a species of coenobitid hermit crab that occurs in the West Atlantic ranging from southern Florida to Venezuela. Like other hermit crabs C. clypaetus is a scavenger and feeds on fruit, plant material, carrion and feces. Coenobita clypaetus will often use shells of gastropods, usually Cittarium pica, to house and protect its soft abdomen. As the ‘crab’ grows and molts it will have to find larger shells.

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Crustacea-Decapoda-Anomura-Paguroidea-Coenobitidae-Coenobita-C. clypaetus

Images: Zoofari and Tom Hadley