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Decorator Crab, (Loxorhynchus crispatus), Malacostraca, Decapoda, Brachyura, Epialtidae
Code Number:
AARV01P07_04.2564
Title:
Decorator Crab, (Loxorhynchus crispatus), Malacostraca, Decapoda, Brachyura, Epialtidae
To maintain its growth, a crab must molt in order to increase in size because its shell does not grow but must be expelled (Molting) in order to regrow a new shell fitting the increase in body mass and size. Molting is a process whereby an new shell is growing beneath the old one and then the old shell splits from body growth and the new one is in place to protect this animal though the new shell is still soft. During the hardening process of the new shell the crab is vulnerable and must hide and protect itself from predators. Another amazing aspect of this crab is that while it molts it will remove the sponges and other camouflage decorations from the old shell and place them onto their new shell.

Habitat: Kelp Forest
Diet: algae, sponges, small crustaceans, bryozoans
Size: to 12.7 centimeters (5 inches)
Range: Baja California to northern California
Kin: dungeness crabs, kelp crabs, sheep crabs, spider crabs

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Brachyura
Family: Epialtidae
Genus: Loxorhynchus
(Stimpson, 1857)
Species: Loxorhynchus crispatus
Keywords:
Decorator Crab (Loxorhynchus crispatus), Crustacea, Crustaceans, Shellfish, Arthropoda, Animals, Animilia, Sealife, Invertebrates, Arthropods, exoskeleton, Fauna, bottomdwellers, saltwater, species, Aquatic, animant, underwater
Image by:
Wernher Krutein

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