Thursday, 23 July 2015

Creature 296: Lybia edmondsoni

Is it a cheerleader or a boxer?
Lybia edmondsoni is a crab which can either be called the pom pom crab or the boxer crab.

The confusion over its identity as a cheerleader or a boxer comes from the fact that it likes to pick up sea anemones in its claws. These can resemble pom poms, but the stinging cells on the anemones can come in very handy when warding off predators.

Without this unusual defensive strategy they would be pretty vulnerable as they have a much softer carapace than most crabs.

Lybia edmondsoni is endemic to the Hawaiian island chain.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Family: Xanthidae
Genus: Lybia
Species: Lybia edmondsoni

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