Porcelain, Anemone Crabs – Neopetrolisthes ohshimai
Species name: Neopetrolisthes ohshimai
Common names: Porcelain crab, Anemone Crabs, dotted anemone crab
Maximum length: 1.0 inch
Minimum tank size: 5 gallons
Aggressiveness: Peaceful. It is best that one crab is kept as two of the same sex will fight.
Reef Compatibility: Excellent
Distribution: Indian and Pacific Ocean
Diet: Filter feeder. It extracts plankton from the water using setae, or bristle-like structures, on its mouthparts. It will also eat mucus from the anemone. If fish are being fed in the aquarium, these crabs do not need additional feeding. It may be supplemented with tablet food placed next to the anemone.
Neopetrolisthes ohshimai, also known as Porcelain crab or Anemone Crabs is from the Indian and Pacific Ocean where they usually reside in the tentacles of an anemone, or more unlikely down underneath an anemone. However, this nice little crab is quite adaptable and can do without an anemone by living on live rock or on corals. Just like Clown fish, the porcelain anemone crab shares a symbiotic relationship with the anemones. The Anemones protect the Crab from its predators while the crab clean the Anemone it dwells with by eating the food scraps and mucus off the Anemone’s body surface.
Porcelain crabs can be distinguished from the true crabs by the apparent number of walking legs (three instead of four pairs, the fourth pair is actually hidden under the carapace). The Carapace of Neopetrolisthes ohshimai is generally white in color with small red or brown markings on it. They have large claws, which are used for territorial struggles, not for catching food. Feeding is accomplished by combing organic particles from the water using long setae (feathery hair or bristle-like structures) on the mouthparts, where they will later be scraped off and consumed into the mouth.
They will molt at night by exiting from the exoskeleton, leaving it behind. A new exoskeleton (a bigger one) begins to develop after a few hours of molting. The porcelain crab might hide during this period since it is particularly vulnerable.
Some will accept to share the anemone with a clownfish but most won’t. The Anemone Crab will try to scare away the clownfish but the fish win the battle ultimately.
The ideal aquarium should have a temperature of 72 to 78F with a pH of 8.1 to 8.4 and a specific gravity between 1.023 and 1.025. It requires a well-established aquarium with ample rocks, crevices, caves.
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