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Phylum Arthropoda > Subphylum Crustacea > Class Malacostraca > Order Decapoda > Brachyurans > Family Pilumnidae
Feather star crabs
Awaiting identification*
Family Pilumnidae
updated Oct 2016

Where seen? This tiny crab is found living in feather stars (Class Crinoidea) and nowhere else. It is thought that the crab does NOT eat the feather star host, and in fact, protects it from predators.

Features: Body width 1cm. Body somewhat hexagonal, with long legs and long narrow pincers. Its colours and patterns usually perfectly match its feather star host. Usually, only crab is found in each feather star.

Status and threats: This crab is listed as 'Critically Endangered' on the Red List of threatened animals of Singapore. As it is only found in feather stars, it depends on protection of our reefs.

Sisters Island, Feb 15
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

According to Dr Tan Heok Hui, Harrovia longipes Harrovia longipes was last recorded from Singapore waters in the 1990s, and there had been no collections or reported sightings since then. Until Dr Tan found two in 2012.

*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display.

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