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Aus soldier Crab.jpg
Light-blue soldier crab, Mictyris longicarpus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Brachyura
Superfamily: Ocypodoidea
Family: Mictyridae
Dana, 1851
Genus: Mictyris
Latreille, 1806

Mictyris is a genus of brightly coloured crabs, placed in its own taxonomical family, the Mictyridae.[1] It inhabits the central Indo-West Pacific region. These crabs congregate on mud flats or beaches in groups of a few thousand, and filter sand or mud for microscopic organisms. They congregate during low tide, and bury themselves in the sand during high tide or whenever they are threatened. This is done in wet sand, and they dig in a corkscrew pattern, leaving many small round pellets of sand behind them.

The genus contains six species:[1][2][3]

The predictable behaviour of these crabs has led them to be used in experiments in a form of billiard ball computer.[4][5]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Peter Davie (2010). "Mictyris Latreille, 1806". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
  3. ^ Peter J. F. Davie, Hsi-Te Shih & Benny K. K. Chan (2010). "A new species of Mictyris (Decapoda, Brachyura, Mictyridae) from the Ryukyu Islands, Japan". Studies on Brachyura: a Homage to Danièle Guinot (PDF). pp. 83–105. doi:10.1163/ej.9789004170865.i-366.61. ISBN 9789047424178.
  4. ^ Jacob Aron (April 12, 2012). "Computers powered by swarms of crabs". New Scientist. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
  5. ^ Yukio-Pegio Gunji, Yuta Nishiyama & Andrew Adamatzky (2011). "Robust soldier crab ball gate". Complex Systems. 20: 2. arXiv:1204.1749. Bibcode:2012arXiv1204.1749G.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Mictyris at Wikimedia Commons