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Candy Crab

Hoplophrys oatesii


Also known as Oate's Soft Coral Crab, Soft Coral Spider Crab and Dendronephthya Crab. This species of spider crab possesses a superb ability to camouflage itself from predators by mimicking the colors and patterns of its host coral. They feed on plankton, and grow to a length of about 1.5cm.


Found on coral and rocky reefs, very closely mimicking the soft coral (Dendronephthya sp.) it lives on, usually at depths of 5 to 15m. Widespread in the Indo-Pacific region.


I spotted two of them on a small, yellow-colored Dendronephthya soft coral -- the first 4 photos show the slightly bigger one, and the last photo shows the second crab. Thankfully, neither of them had yet perfected their camouflage! The 4th picture is a view from the top of the coral, which was on a rubble area in about 18m of water at one of my favorite dive sites, Dayang Beach.

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Blogie 10 years ago

Thanks, Mayra and birdlady!

birdlady6000 10 years ago

Beautiful and interesting!

MayraSpringmann 10 years ago


Spotted by

Davao Del Norte, Philippines

Spotted on Jul 28, 2012
Submitted on Jul 30, 2012

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