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Phylum Arthropoda > Subphylum Crustacea > Class Malacostraca > Order Decapoda > Anomurans > Family Porcellanidae
Painted porcelain crab
Porcellanella triloba
Family Porcellanidae
updated Oct 2016
Where seen? This polka-dotted porcelain crab is often seen in pairs in sea pens that are commonly seen on our Northern shores. It was previously known as Porcellanella picta.

Features: Body width 1cm or less. Body oval and smooth, with pink dots circled in black or blue, especially on the pincers and upper body. The pincers are not much bigger and may be smaller than the body.

Sea pen friend: It is found on Spiky sea pens (Pteroides sp.). often a pair but sometimes many more. One was also seen in a Sea pencil.

Status and threats: This porcelain crab is listed as 'Vulnerable' on the Red List of threatened animals of Singapore.

In the Spiky sea pen
Changi, Jul 04

Changi, Jul 05

Changi, Jul 05

In the Slender sea pen
Beting Bronok, Aug 05

Sometimes, many may be seen in one sea pen.
Changi, Oct 11

Changi, Jul 05

Mama crab with eggs.
Changi, Jul 05

Changi, Jul 05

Painted porcelain crabs on Singapore shores

Photos of Painted porcelain crabs for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Changi, Oct 07
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on flickr.

Coney Island, Nov 15
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Tanah Merah, Feb 09
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Beting Bronok, Jun 14
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Pulau Sekudu, Jul 15
Photo shared by Russel Low on facebook.

Chek Jawa, Apr 11
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Tuas, Oct 12
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.



  • Gosliner, Terrence M., David W. Behrens and Gary C. Williams. 1996. Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific: Animal life from Africa to Hawai’I exclusive of the vertebrates Sea Challengers. 314pp.
  • 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.
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