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Candy Crab

Hoplophrys oatesii

Description:

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.

Habitat:

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.

Notes:

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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3 Comments

Blogie
Blogie 8 years ago

Thanks, Mayra and birdlady!

birdlady6000
birdlady6000 8 years ago

Beautiful and interesting!

MayraSpringmann
MayraSpringmann 8 years ago

Wow!!!

Blogie
Spotted by
Blogie

Davao Del Norte, Philippines

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

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