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scubamarli

Decorator crab id

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Here's a mystery from Bunaken. The guides pointed out several of these during my stay. They considered them quite rare and called them Black coral crabs due to their use of black coral polyps as disguise. They are tiny; under an inch in size. They have black and white striped legs, and red eyes. Does anyone know if it is a described species? I have been unable to find any references.

 

Cheers,

Marli

post-1116-1261425795.jpg

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Marli, everytime I show the crab experts a picture like this & ask for an id they pretty much just laugh. It's true that some crabs are consistent enough in their choice of attachments & shape/ or leg color such that they can be reliably id'ed but only a few. Or should I say that not enough is known about decoration choice & live appearance to be able to do it for more than a few? That's probably true too. sorry......

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Thanks anyway, Leslie...usually by the time I get to posting, I already know it's a long shot to figure it out if it's a spider crab. It has some similarities to Cyclocoeloma tuberculata (I at first thought a juvenile), but the eyes are way off.

 

Cheers,

Marli

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