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Candy Crab / Soft Coral Crab

Hoplophrys oatesi

Description:

Hoplophrys is a monotypic genus of crab in the family Epialtidae. Hoplophrys oatesi is a very colourful crab that grows from 1.5 to 2 cm. It lives on various species of soft coral in the Dendronephthya genus. It camouflages itself by mimicing the colours of the polyps among which it hides. It adds further camouflage by attaching polyps to its carapace. Colours vary depending on the colour of the coral, and may be white, pink, yellow or red. The first pair of legs of this species has small claws. The body has pointed spines with a red and white pattern, similar in appearance to the host coral

Habitat:

It lives on various species of soft coral in the Dendronephthya genus. It camouflages itself by mimicing the colours of the polyps among which it hides. It adds further camouflage by attaching polyps to its carapace. Colours vary depending on the colour of the coral, and may be white, pink, yellow or red. Although widespread in Indo-Pacific, they can be very hard to find due to their well camouflage appearance.

Notes:

This one is a Juvenile and hasn't attached any polyps to its carapace. It also has some parasites living in its body as seen in the swollen part of its body.

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AlbertKang
Spotted by
AlbertKang

Batangas, Philippines

Spotted on Jan 14, 2014
Submitted on Apr 19, 2014

Reference

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