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Description

"This crab lives symbiotically with the teat-fish (Holothuria nigra). It hides under or among the tentacles, coming out from shelter at times, perhaps to feed, and crawling all over the body of its host on which it crouches if disturbed. Its dark purple coloring with white spots is protective, resembling the sticky black skin of the teat-fish with grains of coral sand adherent. Paler brown forms live on other Holothurians to whose color their own is adapted. The other two species taken by the Expedition are roughly speaking sand-colored, and there is no record of their living symbiotically with other organisms. The females of L. orbicularis show a very perfect condition of an arrangement found in various other swimming crabs. That is to say, there is a well-developed brood-pouch formed by a deep sternal hollow surrrounded with a fringe of hair and floored by the abdomen, whose sides are also edged with hair. One specimen had many fully hatched zoaeas in this pouch, and it would be interesting to know how long these young remain there, and how much of their development is passed there (Borradaile, 1902; pg. 200)."

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Nolasco, Jannel

Source: Maldives and Laccadives

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