MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Bristly crab (Pilumnus hirtellus)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

Carapace broader than it is long (up to 3 cm across), with 5 sharp unequally sized antero-lateral teeth on each side. Frontal region very finely serrated between the eyes. Carapace and all walking legs densely covered with club-shaped setae. Chelipeds stout and robust, one (usually the right) much larger than other, and brownish or purple in colour with orange to cream inner surfaces. Carapace reddish-brown, sometimes purplish in colour. Walking legs with alternate bands of purple and white or grey.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Found on all British coasts but is most frequent in the south and west.

Global distribution

From southern Norway southwards to Cape Verde Islands, Mediterranean and Black Sea.

Habitat

Found on various substrata from muddy sand to rocks, under stones and sometimes among seaweed holdfasts, from the lower shore to depths of up to 80 m.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • 1st and 2nd antero-lateral teeth smaller than the rest.
  • Fixed finger of chelae brown at tip.
  • Dactyls curved distally and acutely pointed.
  • Propodus of smaller chela always spiny, that of larger one smooth or with just a few tubercles.
  • Carpus of walking legs may have small spine on the distal upper margin.

Additional information

Dorsal surface of carapace bears short spines beneath the setae; clearly evident in young specimens but increasingly hidden by hairs in older crabs. Silt often accumulates among setae making Pilumnus hirtellus difficult to see on dark or silty surfaces.

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Crothers, J. & Crothers, M., 1988. A key to the crabs and crab-like animals of British inshore waters. Somerset, England: Field Studies Council. [AIDGAP guide, no. 155.]

  2. Fish, J.D. & Fish, S., 1996. A student's guide to the seashore. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  3. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  4. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  5. Hiscock, K., Southward, A., Tittley, I., Jory, A. & Hawkins, S., 2001. The impact of climate change on subtidal and intertidal benthic species in Scotland. Scottish National Heritage Research, Survey and Monitoring Report , no. 182., Edinburgh: Scottish National Heritage

  6. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  7. Ingle, R., 1997. Crayfishes, lobsters and crabs of Europe. An illustrated guide to common and traded species. London: Chapman and Hall.

  8. Ingle, R.W., 1980. British Crabs. Oxford: British Museum (Natural History), Oxford University Press.

Datasets

  1. Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre, 2017. BRERC species records recorded over 15 years ago. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/h1ln5p accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  2. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. IBIS Project Data. Occurrence dataset: https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.

  3. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.

  4. Cofnod – North Wales Environmental Information Service, 2018. Miscellaneous records held on the Cofnod database. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/hcgqsi accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  5. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset http://www.aphotomarine.com/index.html Accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01

  6. Isle of Wight Local Records Centre, 2017. IOW Natural History & Archaeological Society Marine Invertebrate Records 1853- 2011. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/d9amhg accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  7. Kent Wildlife Trust, 2018. Biological survey of the intertidal chalk reefs between Folkestone Warren and Kingsdown, Kent 2009-2011. Occurrence dataset: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01.

  8. Kent Wildlife Trust, 2018. Kent Wildlife Trust Shoresearch Intertidal Survey 2004 onwards. Occurrence dataset: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01.

  9. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2017. Isle of Man wildlife records from 01/01/2000 to 13/02/2017. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/mopwow accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  10. National Trust, 2017. National Trust Species Records. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/opc6g1 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  11. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  12. OBIS (Ocean Biogeographic Information System),  2021. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2021-12-03

  13. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Myriapods, Isopods, and allied species (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/rvxsqs accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

  14. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, 2018. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Shoresearch. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/1nw3ch accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Skewes, M. 2008. Pilumnus hirtellus Bristly crab. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 03-12-2021]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1627

Last Updated: 08/05/2008