Friday, November 30, 2007

Coral Guard Crab

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

Trapezia Crab or Guard Crab
(Trapezia serenei)

Trapezia Crab or Guard Crab - Trapezia serenei
Photo by Hannah Stewart. Text by G. Bergsma and H. Stewart.

Trapeziid crabs actively defend their coral hosts from predators, and are known to drive away predatory Crown-of-Thorns Seastars by snipping off their thorns and tube feet. Trapezia live only on Pocillopora corals, and feed on their mucus.

Crabs of the genus Trapezia are found throughout the Indo-Pacific. T. serenei has been reported from Western Australia, Taiwan, Guam, the Tuamotu Islands and the Society Islands.

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

Coral mucus.

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

Learn More
Coming Soon
- Moorea Biocode Database

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