Hoplophrys is a monotypic genus of crab in the family Epialtidae. It contains the single species Hoplophrys oatesi, also known as the candy crab, Oates's soft coral crab, commensal soft coral crab and Dendronephthya crab.
Hoplophrys oatesi is a very colourful crab that grows from 1.5 to 2 cm. It lives on various species of soft coral in the Dendronephthya genus. It camouflages itself by mimicking the colours of the polyps among which it hides. It adds further camouflage by attaching polyps to its carapace. Colours vary depending on the colour of the coral, and may be white, pink, yellow or red.
The first pair of legs of this species has small claws. The body has pointed spines with a red and white pattern, similar in appearance to the host coral.
This crab widespread in the Indo-Pacific.
Hoplophrys oatesi feeds on plankton.
- ScubaVision, www.scubavision.de. "Photo Image Candy crab Hoplophrys oatesii". Lembehresort.com. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
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- J. R. Henderson (1893). "A contribution to Indian Carcinology". Transactions of the Linnean Society of London. (ser. 2). 5 (10): 325–458. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.1893.tb00653.x.
The Soft Coral Crab is one of many small animals that lives in the ocean. Crabs can come in all shapes and sizes, but this crab is definitely one to remember! With its small size and strange structure, it is by far, one of the most interesting crabs ever seen before. Its colors and the way it protects itself, it is not exactly a normal crab to see in the ocean.