Petrolisthes armatus (Green porcelain crab megalopa)


Petrolisthes armatus (green porcelain crab) megalopa larva

Collected: North Inlet, South Carolina, Summer 2015, using plankton nets hung from a dock.porcellaniid maybe

Notes: This porcelain crab is believed to be native to Brazil. It was found in south Florida in the 1930s and  has spread widely as an invasive species. In North Inlet, South Carolina, it has displaced the several native species and is by far the most abundant porcelain crab. The adult porcelain crab is a commensal, living in tubes with invertebrates including the large polychaete, Chaeptopterus.

We rarely collect the megalopa stage of porcellanids in the plankton. Perhaps this intermediate between the zoeae and first crab stage is very brief, or the megalopa are more benthic.

Click here to view the zoeal stage of Petrolisthes armatus.

Identified by Dennis Allen, Baruch Marine Lab, University of South Carolina.