A field guide to Kenyan mangroves


Petrolisthes lamarckii (Leach, 1820)

Family: Porcellanidae

Zone: This small crab lives near creeks or wetter parts of forest.

Habitat: In dead wood, under logs.

Food: Filter feeder.

Ecological notes: At high water very active on submerged parts of R. mucronata while at low water it retreats back to its hiding place under bark or root crevices; also found on rocky shores (Vannini et al., 1997). Not a true crab, actually more closely related to hermit crabs.

Distinguishing characteristics: 5th legs folded on carapace. Very long antennae. Oversized claws and buccal frame. Larval development and descriptions can be found in Yaqoob (1979) and Hernandez et al. (2000).

Geographical range: Kenya (Vannini et al., 1997), French Polynesia (Poupin, 2004), Pakistan (Mustaquim, 1972).


Hernandez G, Bolanos J, Graterol K, Lira C, 2000. The larval development of Petrolisthes politus (Gray, 1831) (Crustacea : Decapoda : Porcellanidae) under laboratory conditions. Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment 35(2): 143-155.

Mustaquim, J. 1972. Species of porcellanid crabs from Karachi. Pakistan Journal of Zoology 4(2): 153-159.

Poupin, J., 2004. Internet - Database of Crustacea (Decapoda and Stomatopoda), mainly from the French Polynesian Islands. At http://decapoda.ecole-navale.fr/index.php and http://decapoda.free.fr.

Vannini, M., A. Oluoch and R.K. Ruwa, 1997. Tree-climbing decapods of Kenyan mangroves. In Kjerfve, Björn, Luiz Drude de Lacerdaand El Hadji Salif Diop (eds.). Mangrove ecosystem studies in Latin America and Africa. UNESCO Technical Papers in Marine Science, Paris, France: 325-338.

Yaqoob, M., 1979. Rearing of Petrolisthes lamarckii (Leach, 1820) under laboratory conditions (Decapoda, Porcellanidae). Crustaceana 37: 253-264.

See more mangrove books

previous speciesnext species

all text and photographs copyright© 2002-2016 David Gillikin and Anouk Verheyden
Created 28 August 2001

Updated June 24, 2016