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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Decorator Crab Babies!? Help please

    Hello! Hopefully this is in the right forum section,

    I just purchased a decorator crab at the LFS and I believe he/she is having babies, it has a sack underneath filled with little orange balls and everyonce in a while he opens it to put something in its mouth (an egg perhaps) and spits it out. I am wondering if these are babies?

    At the moment the crab is in a very very small tank for the time being since I bought him a couple days ago and need to transport him home (600km) tomorrow. I am doing part water changes and he and his anemone seem healthy.

    I will attach a picture ASAP but if anyone has any suggestions as to what I should do for the time being they would be greatly appreciated.

    An ID on the anemone would also be nice!

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    liv is offline
    Former Moderator liv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    wow.. lucky you !
    she might be aerating the eggs and stuffing them back.
    usually, if you look closely, you can see if they are fertile by seeing little dark spots in the eggs... they may or may not be fertile. I believe they still lay eggs even if not mated.
    keep a close eye on them fun exiting times for sure!! take lots of pics too.

    read this:
    The male pleopods, or abdominal appendages, are highly modified for clasping the female and transfering sperm. The sperm lack flagella, so the male packages them into spermatophores, which are inserted into the female's oviduct. The fertilized eggs are transported and attached to bristles on the abdomen. The abdomen plate covers the eggs, often bulging outward. Eggs may form grape-like clusters, and a gravid female may be referred to being berried. During the brooding stage, maternal care is given to the eggs by frequent aeration and removal of foreign bodies. When the eggs hatch, the larvae become planktonic in the water column. For more information and pictures on the decorator crabs larvae, go to the Plankton.

    found at:
    also read: http://www.marineinvertebratezoology...umnodipes.html

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    If a male mated with her in the last year, they are probably viable. But that being said, the chances of you having baby decorator crabs for sale in the future is bleak. All planktonic animals are extremely difficult to raise to juvenile state. Not impossible but outside of the realm of most aquarists.
    Good luck though

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Wow!! both replies from you guys were extremely helpful! Thank you! So it turns out they were fertile but no babies. I think she was very stressed out and started dumping some eggs out. But every once in a while she still stretches her belly out and you can see layers of eggs very very cool.

    Once I moved her into the proper tank she seems way happier. She took my zoas and stuck them all over her!! I will post pics soon. Very funny to see and the anemone on her back is groing fast, whenever I put food into my tank for my akan, the decorator crab comes FLYING from the other end of the aquarium and snatches the food. She's crazy!

    Once again thanks for the help and pics are soon to come!

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