Friday, November 30, 2007

Coral Crab

[Originally posted to the Moorea Coral Reef LTER (MCR LTER) Marine Life Encyclopedia]

Coral Crab or "House Keeper" Crab
(Tetralia nigrolineata)

Coral Crab or "House Keeper" Crab - Tetralia nigrolineata
Photo by Hannah Stewart. Text by H. Stewart and G. Bergsma.

Tetralia crabs actively clean sediment off their host corals, enabling small corals to survive in high-sediment areas where they would otherwise be smothered.

Crabs of the genus Tetralia are found throughout the Indo-Pacific.  T. nigrilineata has been reported from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Cook Islands, and New Caledonia.

Shallow tropical reefs, reef flats and lagoons where Acropora corals grow.

Coral mucus.

Quick Fact
Tetralia live only on Acropora corals and feed on their mucus.

Learn More
- National Geographic Kids

- Moorea Biocode Database

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