Red Spotted Trapeze Crab - Trapezia rufopunctata

Photograph by Roger Steene

© 2000 by Image Quest 3-D
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The Trapezia crabs, family Trapeziidae, are usually associated with corals and other invertebrates and posses relatively large claws (see above). This species is one that helps to prevent the crown-of-thorns starfish from eating their corals. If the starfish approachs the coral, the crab pinchs the tube feet of the starfish, prompting the predator to move on to another coral which is not protected before it can feed. This crab has a wide distribution throughout the western Pacific, including Hawaii.

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2001 by Image Quest 3-D
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