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Phylum Arthropoda > Subphylum Crustacea > Class Malacostraca > Order Decapoda
Masked burrowing crabs
Family Corystidae
updated Oct 2016

Where seen? These small funny-looking crabs are sometimes seen on our shores, among seagrasses and near reefs.

Features: Body about
3cm. The body is oval and abdomen folded beneath. Antennae are very long and feather-like, legs flattened and spade-shaped. They are usually buried in the sand with only their antennae sticking out. The interlocking hairs on the antennae probably form a breathing tube for the buried crab.

Status and threats: The species Gomeza bicornis and Jonas formosae are listed as 'Vulnerable' on the Red List of threatened animals of Singapore.

Gomeza bicornis
Labrador, Dec 04

Carrying eggs on the abdomen.

Interlocking hairs on the antennae may
form a breathing tube when the crab is underground.

Masked burrowing crabs on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Pulau Sekudu, Jul 09

Photo shared by Marcus Ng on his blog.

Cyrene Reef, Aug 11
Photo shared by Lok Kok Sheng on his blog.

Pulau Semakau, Aug 13

Photo shared by Heng Pei Yan on her blog.

Female carrying eggs.
Changi, Oct 12
Photo shared by Lok Kok Sheng on flickr.

Sentosa, Jul 16

Photo shared by Marcus Ng on flickr.

St. John's Island, Aug 09

Photo shared by Liana Tang on her blog.

  • Marcus F. C. Ng . 28 Oct 2016. Masked burrowing crab Gomeza bicornis at Sentosa. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2016: 153.
  • Davison, G.W. H. and P. K. L. Ng and Ho Hua Chew, 2008. The Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened plants and animals of Singapore. Nature Society (Singapore). 285 pp.
  • Humann, Paul and Ned Deloach. 2010. Reef Creature Identification: Tropical Pacific New World Publications. 497pp.
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