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Lybia edmondsoni 2.jpg
Hawaiian pompom crab, Lybia edmondsoni
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Brachyura
Family: Xanthidae
Subfamily: Polydectinae
Genus: Lybia
H. Milne-Edwards, 1834 [1]
Type species
Lybia tessellata

Lybia is a genus of small crabs in the family Xanthidae. Their common names include boxer crabs, boxing crabs and pom-pom crabs. They are notable for their mutualism with sea anemones,[3] which they hold in their claws for defense. In return, the anemones get carried around which may enable them to capture more food particles with their tentacles. Boxer crabs use at least three species of anemones, including Bundeopsis spp. and Triactis producta. The bonding with the anemone is not needed for survival, however, and boxer crabs have frequently been known to live without them, sometimes substituting other organisms such as sponges and corals for the sea anemones.

The genus Lybia contains the following species:[2]


  1. ^ "Lybia H. Milne Edwards, 1834". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved March 1, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Peter K. L. Ng; Danièle Guinot & Peter J. F. Davie (2008). "Systema Brachyurorum: Part I. An annotated checklist of extant Brachyuran crabs of the world" (PDF). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. 17: 1–286. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-06.
  3. ^ Abigail Smigel (July 17, 2002). "Creature Feature: Not Quite Muhammed Ali". Deeper Blue.

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