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Atergatis subdentatus.jpg
Atergatis subdentatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Brachyura
Superfamily: Xanthoidea
Family: Xanthidae
Macleay, 1838 [1]

Xanthidae is a family of crabs known as mud crabs, pebble crabs or rubble crabs.[1] Xanthid crabs are often brightly coloured and are poisonous, containing toxins which are not destroyed by cooking and for which no antidote is known.[2] The toxins are similar to the tetrodotoxin and saxitoxin produced by puffer fish, and may be produced by bacteria in the genus Vibrio living in symbiosis with the crabs, mostly V. alginolyticus and V. parahaemolyticus.[2]


Many species formerly included in the family Xanthidae have since been moved to new families. Despite this, Xanthidae is still the largest crab family in terms of species richness, with 572 species in 133 genera divided among the thirteen subfamilies:[3]


  1. ^ a b "Xanthidae". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. 
  2. ^ a b Ria Tan (2008). "Xanthid crabs: Family Xanthidae". Wild Singapore. Retrieved January 11, 2010. 
  3. ^ Sammy De Grave; N. Dean Pentcheff; Shane T. Ahyong; et al. (2009). "A classification of living and fossil genera of decapod crustaceans" (PDF). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. Suppl. 21: 1–109. 
  4. ^ Jose Christopher E. Mendoza & Danièle Guinot (2011). "Revision of the genus Glyptoxanthus A. Milne-Edwards, 1879, and establishment of Glyptoxanthinae nov. subfam. (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Xanthidae)" (PDF excerpt). Zootaxa. 3015: 29–51. 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Xanthidae at Wikimedia Commons