Spider Decorator Crab   (Camposcia retusa)



The Spider Decorator Crab may also be referred to as a Tarantula Crab and Decorator Crab.     These crabs are bottom dwellers, native to the Indo-Pacific waters, in depth of about 1430 feet.   Generally, they are common around coral reefs, rocky structures and vegetation.

The Spider Decorator Crab all have a unique appearance.   These creatures use materials from their environment to hide from, or warn off, predators. They start off having a brownish tan body and then it collects sponges, rocks, shells, seaweed, and any other items and sticks it to its body.   They have velco-like hooks on their bodies and secrete a glue like mucus from their mouth, which makes it possible for random material to stick.   Their method of “decorating” is to blend into their surroundings and create a camouflage for itself.   If these creatures are removed from one environment and placed into a different one, they will immediately start to redecorate their bodies.   Often, they can completely change their appearance in one night. Since the crab shell does not grow with the crab, it must molt periodically and develop a larger shell.   These crabs will recycle the material on their old shells, onto their new shells and then add additional material.

These creatures are nocturnal scavengers.   They will roam over the reef and ocean floor searching for leftover fish flesh, plankton and algae.



Information courtesy of wikipedia.org, aquariumdomain.com

Photo courtesy of flickr.com