Seaweed Decorator Crab Naxia tumida
The Seaweed Decorator Crab is a distinctive crab. The carapace is covered with spines, knobs and fine hooked hairs, through which the crab threads snipped off algae and sponge pieces. This proves to be a very effective camouflage. The carapace is pear-shaped, with a pair of short horns between the eyes.
The Seaweed Decorator Crab's carapace is coloured yellow-brown, brown or brown-green. Because this crab camouflages itself with many pieces of snipped-off algae , the real carapace colour is often obscured.
Central New South Wales, south through Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia to the Houtman Abrolhos, Western Australia.
The Seaweed Decorator Crab is found at low tide levels and below, often in rock pools, under rocks or among algae.
The Seaweed Decorator Crab effectively camouflages itself by snipping off and attaching algae, sponges and hydroids to the hairs of the carapace. The result is so effective, that these relatively common crabs are rarely detected unless it is seen moving. Their camouflage is excellent.
Bennett, I. (1987) W.J. Dakin's classic study: Australian Seashores. p.223, Angus & Robertson, Sydney.
Davey, K. (1998) A Photographic Guide to Seashore Life of Australia. p.48, New Holland, Sydney.
Edgar, G.J. (1997) Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. p.206, Reed Books, Kew.
Jones, D. & Morgan, G. (1994) A Field Guide to Crustaceans of Australian Waters. p.147, Reed, Chatswood