Discoplax hirtipes

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Discoplax hirtipes
Specimen of Discoplax hirtipes.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Brachyura
Family: Gecarcinidae
Genus: Discoplax
Species: D. hirtipes
Binomial name
Discoplax hirtipes
(Dana, 1851) [1]

Cardiosoma hirtipes Dana, 1851

Discoplax hirtipes is a species of terrestrial crab.

Description and behaviour[edit]

D. hirtipes can be distinguished from other members of the genus Discoplax by the smooth and distinctly inflated carapace. It is also blue or blue-brown in colour, compared to purple or purple-brown in the remaining species.[2]

The breeding season for D. hirtipes lasts seven months, and females must migrate to the sea to release their larvae.[3]


D. hirtipes has a wide distribution across the western Pacific Ocean.[4] It has been recorded from southern Japan, Taiwan, southern China, Palau, Guam, eastern Australia, Fiji, Hawaii (a single record, almost certainly erroneous), the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.[5][6] Records from the Indian Ocean are now considered to belong to two related species, D. celeste (Christmas Island only) and D. magna (relatively widespread in eastern Indian Ocean).[4][6]

Taxonomic history[edit]

Discoplax hirtipes was originally described by James Dwight Dana under the name Cardisoma hirtipes. His description was published in 1851 based on material collected on the United States Exploring Expedition ("Wilkes expedition") in Fiji.[7] The type material has been lost, so a neotype from Fiji was designated in 2012.[4]


  1. ^ James Dwight Dana (1851). "Conspectus Crustaceorum quae in Orbis Terrarum circumnavigatione, Carolo Wilkes e classe Reipublicae Foederatae Duce, lexit et descriptsit J.D. Dana". Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 5: 247–254. 
  2. ^ Peter K. L. Ng & Danièle Guinot (2001). "On the land crabs of the genus Discoplax A. Milne Edwards, 1867 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Gecarcinidae), with description of a new cavernicolous species from the Philippines" (PDF). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. 49 (2): 311 338. 
  3. ^ Richard G. Hartnoll (2010). "Chastity belts and planktotrophic larvae: constraints on gecarcinid reproductive behaviour". In Peter Castro, Peter J. F. Davie & Peter K. L. Ng. Studies on Brachyura: A Homage to Danièle Guinot. Volume 11 of Crustaceana Monographs. Brill Publishers. pp. 153–171. ISBN 978-90-04-17086-5. 
  4. ^ a b c Peter K. L. Ng & Peter J. F. Davie (2012). "The blue crab of Christmas Island, Discoplax celeste, new species (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Gecarcinidae)" (PDF). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. 60 (1): 89–100. 
  5. ^ "Discoplax hirtipes". Crabs of Japan. Marine Species Identification Portal. Retrieved November 12, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Peter K. L. Ng & Tsi-Te Shih (2014). "The systematics of the land crabs of the Discoplax hirtipes (Dana, 1851) species-group (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Gecarcinidae), with description of a new species from the eastern Indian Ocean". Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. Supplement No. 30: 109–135. 
  7. ^ "Species Discoplax hirtipes (Dana, 1851)". Australian Faunal Directory. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. January 29, 2010. Retrieved November 12, 2010.