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tammy.horton

Deep%20sea%20life%20of%20Tanzania_2016_reduced.pdf?bcsi_scan_2687365ababd2c82=0&bcsi_scan_filename=Deep%20sea%20life%20of%20Tanzania_2016_reduced

- Arthropoda - Decapoda -

Neolithodes sp. (Stone Crab)

Arthropoda (Phylum) > Malacostraca (Class) > Decapoda (Order) > Lithodidae (Family)

These stone crabs, Neolithodes sp., were encountered at one site when they attended the

baited camera experiment. It is the first time Neolithodes sp. has been recorded in the

deep western Indian Ocean.

The specimens here were large animals, up to 20 cm carapace length and a leg span of

nearly a metre. A maximum of three individuals was seen feeding on the bait at any

time. Like the hermit crab on the previous page, they appeared to feed for a period of

time, move away and then return later. When feeding at the bait they were dominant

over the other species present, consuming most of the food available. It may be that the

protection provided by the sharp spines on the carapace and legs of the crabs deter other

species from feeding.

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