Porcellanidae Haworth, 1825

Wicksten, Mary K., 2012, Decapod Crustacea of the Californian and Oregonian Zoogeographic Provinces 3371, Zootaxa 3371, pp. 1-307: 153

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Porcellanidae Haworth, 1825


Family Porcellanidae Haworth, 1825  

Porcelain crabs are flattened dorso-ventrally and able to slip under rocks, into cracks and other tight spaces. The third maxillipeds are fringed with long setae, which are extended into the water and employed to capture plankton. The crabs also can graze on filamentous algae and scrape detritus from the sea floor by use of the third maxillipeds. They usually do not tear and scavenge food. Pereopod 5 is modified into a cleaning brush. In Petrolisthes cinctipes   and P. cabrilloi   , the crabs maintain an individual distance of the length of a second antenna from the nearest neighbor. Individuals of Petrolisthes cinctipes   use the large chelipeds to raise themselves off the substrate or to "elbow" intruding neighbors. The crabs can swim short distances by flapping the abdomen. Wicksten (1973) and Gonor & Gonor (1973) studied feeding and swimming in porcellanids.

Haig (1960) gave a comprehensive account of porcellanid synonymies, morphological variation and sites where they have been collected. Haig & Abbott (1980) provided additional information on feeding, ecology and larval stages.