crabs text index | photo index
Phylum Arthropoda > Subphylum Crustacea > Class Malacostraca > Order Decapoda > Brachyurans > Family Pilumnidae
Rubble-carrying hairy crabs
Actumnus setifer
Family Pilumnidae
updated Oct 2016

Where seen? Only the odd movement of coral rubble gives away the presence of this little hairy crab that carries around a piece of rubble. It lives on rubble and reefs. Elsewhere, the crab has been seen to carry live and dead corals weighing up to 1kg! The crab has also been observed to excavate holes in fixed and immobile live or dead corals, soft stones or sponges.

Features: Body width 2-3cm. Body oval, body and legs covered with velvety hairs, but is not as hairy as the Common hairy crab. It has stout pincers, one larger than the other, both covered in bead-like bumps.

If the piece of coral is overturned, the crab will turn it back the right way and scuttle back into its hiding place. The crab moves around by holding the rubble with its back legs and pushing agains the ground with its pincers.

Crab castle: Inside the rubble, the crab excavates a castle! Besides the entrance on the underside of the rubble is a feeding chamber, leading up via a tunnel to a place for it live, and with 8-12 small openings to the outside of the rubble probably used by the crab to detect food.

Chek Jawa, Jul 13

Chek Jawa, Jul 13

Cyrene Reef, Jul 12

Photo shared by Marcus Ng on his blog.

Cyrene Reef, Jun 12

Chek Jawa, Jul 13

Rubble-carrying hairy crabs on Singapore shores

Photos of Rubble-carrying hairy crabs for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Pulau Tekukor, Jun 16

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

1 Jun 2013
Actumnus setifer clip 7 rubble-carrying hairy crab video
Video clip shared by Marcus Ng on his blog.

Links References
FREE photos from wildsingapore tagged with Pilumnidae. Make your own badge here.
links | references | about | email Ria
Spot errors? Have a question? Want to share your sightings? email Ria I'll be glad to hear from you!
wildfactsheets website©ria tan 2008