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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Brachyura
Superfamily: Cryptochiroidea
Paulson, 1875
Family: Cryptochiridae
Paulson, 1875

20, See text

Cryptochiridae is a family of crabs known commonly as gall crabs or coral gall crabs. They live inside cavities in corals and cause the formation of galls in the coral structure.[1][2] The family is placed in its own superfamily, Cryptochiroidea.

Gall crabs are sexually dimorphic, with males much smaller than females. Males often move into galls occupied by females in order to mate.[1]

These crabs can be found in shallow and deep waters in association with corals. They feed on mucus secreted by the coral galls, as well as various detritus.[1]

Because crab size is related to gall size, it is likely that the crabs form the galls and change their size, rather than living randomly in a gall forming within a coral. Related groups of gall crab taxa share a similar gall type, suggesting that the crabs influence the morphology of the galls.[3]

The family contains the following twenty genera:[4][5]