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Temporal range: Miocene–Recent
Freshwater crab - Potamonautidae.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Brachyura
Section: Eubrachyura
Subsection: Heterotremata
Superfamily: Potamoidea
Family: Potamonautidae
Bott, 1970 [1]

Potamonautidae is a family of freshwater crabs endemic to Africa, including the islands of Madagascar, the Seychelles, Zanzibar, Mafia, Pemba, Bioko, São Tomé, Príncipe and Sherbro Island.[2] It comprises 18 extant genera and 138 extant species.[3] Fossil remains dating from the Late Miocene period have been attributed to the family Potamonautidae.[4]

It comprises the following subfamilies and genera:[3]

Deckeniinae Ortmann, 1897
Hydrothelphusinae Bott, 1955
Potamonautinae Bott, 1970


  1. ^ "Potamonautidae". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved January 21, 2009. 
  2. ^ Neil Cumberlidge (2008). "Insular species of Afrotropical freshwater crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Potamonautidae and Potamidae) with special reference to Madagascar and the Seychelles". Contributions to Zoology. 77 (2): 71–81. 
  3. ^ a b Sammy De Grave; N. Dean Pentcheff; Shane T. Ahyong; et al. (2009). "A classification of living and fossil genera of decapod crustaceans" (PDF). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. Suppl. 21: 1–109. 
  4. ^ Joel W. Martin & S. Trautwein (2003). "Fossil crabs (Crustacea, Decapoda, Brachyura) from Lothagam". In M. G. Leakey & J. M. Harris. Lothagam: The Dawn of Humanity in Eastern Africa (PDF). Columbia University Press. pp. 67–73.