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Diving with Porcelain Crabs

Koh Lanta Marine Life | Porcellanidae
Fire CoralsHermit Crabs

Porcelain crabs are small decapod crustaceans which resemble true crabs, but are in fact closer to squat lobsters in their structure. Reaching a maximum 15 - 20 mm across, their compact and flattened bodies allow them to live and hide in rock crevices for protection. They are always around, but difficult to spot when diving Koh Lanta.

Although delicate in appearance, porcelain crabs are protected by a tough calcium carbonate exoskeleton which is shed as they grow. If attacked by a predator, the crab can cast off a limb and escape. The lost limb can be regrown over time with each shed of their exoskeleton.

Porcelain crabs have finely laced fans on their mouth parts which are used to filter food out of the water. Their large front claws are used for territorial struggles and are not used to catch prey.

1 species found on this page.

Porcelain Anemone Crab

(Neopetrolisthes maculatus)

Porcelain Anemone Crab (Neopetrolisthes maculatus)

Neopetrolisthes maculatus @ Koh Bida

Porcelain anemone crabs are beige or white in colour with small brownish red spots covering the top of their flat round bodies.

Porcelain crabs share a mutualistic relationship with many animals, and porcelain anemone crabs, can often be seen hiding amongst the stinging tentacles of their symbiotic partners, anemones, on the dives around Koh Lanta.

While the anemone offers shelter and protection to the porcelain crab, the porcelain crab keeps the anemone clean.

It is very unusual to see both a porcelain anemone crab and a clownfish inhabit the same sea anemone. We are most likely to see porcelain anemone crabs in adhesive anemones, certain species of carpet anemones, and rarely beaded anemone.

Koh Lanta Diving with Porcelain Crabs

If you'd love a chance to spot Porcelain Crabs on one of our daily Koh Lanta diving trips then send us an email to info@diveandrelax.com.

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