Porcelain crab

By: melev | Tags: | Comments: 0

The porcelain crab is commonly found in tropical oceans. It has a flat round body, and come in a few different colors. Their two large claws are nothing to fear; these are timid reef-safe crabs.  Often found in the rock work or under the rocks, you can see these scavengers seeking food as well as protection. These can be kept in pairs.  This one has chosen to dwell in a sea anemone, a beautiful rainbow bubble tip. Initially the clownfish weren’t too pleased by the new arrival, but in time they decided it was no threat.

The extend their feather appendages to capture planktonic food moving through the water column. Look closely and you’ll see how they retract them to clean them off, and re-extend them to capture more food. They can also eat meaty portions on occasion, provided the pieces are small enough. 

These peaceful crabs are both interesting and pleasing to the eye, and won’t harm any invertebrates or corals. They are going to need plenty of places to hide, and shouldn’t be housed with fish that may prey upon them.

Their typical size is 3/4” to 1” across.  They resemble the squat lobster more than other common crabs, and they do a good job of keeping their surroundings clean.  They may pick at algae, but are not considered part of a clean up crew.