Anemone porcelain crab (Neopetrolisthes ohshimai, Neopetrolisthes maculatus) or porcelain spotted crab belongs to the porcelanidae family (Porcellanidae), the decapod order of crayfish (crustaceans).Anemone Porcelain Crab (Neopetrolisthes maculatus)
External signs of anemone porcelain crab.
Anemone porcelain crab has a small size of about 2.5 cm. The cephalothorax is short and wide. The abdomen is also short and bends under the cephalothorax. The antennae are small. The color of the chitinous shell is creamy white with reddish, brown, sometimes black spots and interspersed with the same shade. The protective cover is very durable, impregnated with a layer of lime, has a high hardness. The claws are large and perform the function of protection when attacked by predators or are used to protect the territory from competitors, but serve to obtain food. Anemone porcelain crab differs from other types of crab in the number of limbs involved in movement. He uses only three pairs of legs (the fourth pair is hidden under the carapace), while other types of crabs move on four. This feature distinguishes it from other types of crabs.
Food of anemone porcelain crab.
Anemone porcelain crab belongs to organisms - filtrators. It absorbs plankton from water using 1 pair of upper jaws, as well as 2 pairs of lower jaws, which have special brushes. An anemone porcelain crab picks organic particles in long, faithful formations, then the food enters the mouth.
Features of the behavior of anemone porcelain crab.
Anemone porcelain crabs territorial predators. They are usually found in pairs among sea anemones. This species of crabs is aggressive in relation to other types of crustaceans, comparable in body size, but does not attack larger individuals. Porcelain anemone crabs also protect their territory from fish that appear among sea anemones in search of food. Typically, clown fish swim in packs and, although they are not very aggressive, anemone crabs attack competitors. But clown fish prevail over a single crab in their quantity.
The spread of anemone porcelain crab.
Anemone porcelain crab spreads along the coast of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, where it usually lives in close symbiosis with anemones.
Habitats of anemone porcelain crab.
Anemone porcelain crab lives in symbiosis with sea anemone, it is held either on a rocky substrate, or among the tentacles of anemone, which captures small fish, worms, crustaceans. This species of crabs has adapted to inhabit without anemone among stones and corals.
Shedding in anemone porcelain crab.
Anemone porcelain crabs molt when the old chitinous shell becomes cramped as the crab's body grows. Shedding usually occurs at night. A new protective coating forms after a couple of hours after the molting, but for its final hardening a certain time is required. This life period is unfavorable for crustacean organisms, therefore crabs hide in cracks between stones, burrows, under sunken objects and wait for the formation of a new chitin skeleton. During this period, anemone porcelain crabs are the most vulnerable.
The content of anemone porcelain crab.
Anemone porcelain crabs are crustaceans that are suitable for keeping in a reef aquarium or in an aquarium with invertebrates. They survive in an artificial ecosystem due to their small size and unpretentiousness in nutrition, especially if anemones live in the tank. This type of crustacean tolerates other inhabitants of the aquarium, in addition to the presence of its relatives. For keeping porcelain crab, an aquarium with a capacity of at least 25 - 30 liters is suitable.
It is advisable to settle only one crab, as two individuals will constantly sort things out and attack each other.
The temperature of the water is set between 22-25 ° C, pH 8.1-8.4 and salinity is maintained at a level of 1.023 to 1.025. Corals are placed in the aquarium, decorated with stones, shelters are installed in the form of grottoes or caves. It is better to launch a crab into an already existing artificial ecosystem. For a comfortable habitat of porcelain crab, anemone is settled, clown fish can be released if the polyps are large enough. Porcelain crab is often sold together with sea anemone, but in the new conditions the polyp does not always take root and it is more difficult to keep it. In this case, the hardy carpet anemones of Stichodactyla are suitable, which perfectly adapt to living in an aquarium. The crab purifies the water, picking up the remnants of food, plankton and mucus near the anemone. When feeding clown fish, porcelain crab should not be fed separately, it needs only this food and plankton. For feeding porcelain crab there are special nutritional tablets that are placed on anemone. This type of crustacean maintains balance in the aquarium system and utilizes organic debris.
Symbiosis of anemone porcelain crab and sea anemone.
Anemone porcelain crab is in a symbiotic relationship with sea anemones. In this case, both partners benefit from mutual living. Crabs protect the intestinal animal from various predators, and he collects the remnants of food and mucus that remain during the life of the polyp. The stinging cells on the tentacles of anemone do not harm the crab, and it feeds freely, moving near the sea anemone and even between the tentacles. Such relationships contribute to the survival of various species in the ocean ecosystem.
Conservation status of anemone porcelain crab.
Anemone porcelain crab is a fairly common species in its habitat.
This species is not threatened by a reduction in numbers.
Porcelain crab is an inhabitant of coral reefs that are protected as unique natural ecosystems. In this case, the entire species diversity of living organisms that make up the system is preserved. Reef formations are threatened by pollution by sand and silt sediments that are carried from the mainland of the river, are destroyed by predatory collection of corals, and are affected by industrial pollution. They need comprehensive protection when not only animals are protected, but also the entire habitat. Compliance with the rules for catching crabs, the implementation of recommendations of scientific organizations will be able to ensure the existence of anemone porcelain crabs in the present and future.