De Haan, 1839
The family Homolidae, known as carrier crabs or porter crabs, contains 14 genera of marine crabs. They mostly live on the continental slope and continental shelf, and are rarely encountered. Members of the Homolidae have their fifth pereiopods (last pair of walking legs) in a sub-dorsal position, which allows them to hold objects in place over the rear half of the carapace. The objects carried include sponges, black corals and gorgonians, and this behaviour may be a defence mechanism against predators. Some species have been observed carrying living sea urchins in a symbiotic relationship which allows them to benefit from the protection of the urchin's dangerous spikes.
A total of 14 genera are currently recognised in the family:
- Dagnaudus Guinot & Richer de Forges, 1995
- Gordonopsis Guinot & Richer de Forges, 1995
- Homola Leach, 1816
- Homolax Alcock, 1899
- Homolochunia Doflein, 1904
- Homologenus A. Milne-Edwards, in Henderson, 1888
- Homolomannia Ihle, 1912
- Ihlopsis Guinot & Richer de Forges, 1995
- Lamoha Ng, 1998
- Latreillopsis Henderson, 1888
- Moloha Barnard, 1947
- Paromola Wood-Mason & Alcock, 1891
- Paromolopsis Wood-Mason & Alcock, 1891
- Yaldwynopsis Guinot & Richer de Forges, 1995
- Homola barbata, in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea
- Paromola cuvieri, in the East Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea
- Family Homolidae - carrier crabs at sealifebase.org
- Family Homolidae (Porter crabs) at the Marine Species Identification Portal
- Mary K. Wicksten (1985). "Carrying behavior in the family Homolidae (Decapoda: Brachyura)". Journal of Crustacean Biology. 5 (3): 476–479. doi:10.2307/1547919. JSTOR 1547919.
- Relationships on the Reef
- Carrier Crab video Archived 2011-02-20 at the Wayback Machine, National Geographic
- "Carrier Crab". video.nationalgeographic.com. Retrieved 2015-06-11.
- Bates, Mary; 10, National Geographic PUBLISHED June. "Natural Bling: 6 Amazing Animals That Decorate Themselves". National Geographic News. Retrieved 2015-06-11.
- Peter Davie & Michael Türkay (2011). "Homolidae". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved April 27, 2011.
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