Slippery lobsters

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Slippery lobsters
Big slippery shrimp (Scyllarides latus) in the Red Sea near Safaga

Big slippery shrimp ( Scyllarides latus ) in the Red Sea near Safaga

Sub-stem : Crustaceans (Crustacea)
Class : Higher crabs (Malacostraca)
Order : Decapods (decapoda)
Subordination : Pleocyemata
Partial order : Achelata
Family : Slippery lobsters
Scientific name
Latreille , 1825

Slippery shrimp (Scyllaridae) are a family of the Achelata within the decapods (Decapoda). It comprises 98 species, 13 of which are only known to be fossil. A characteristic feature is the blade-like shaped second pair of antennas .


The carapace of the slippery lobster is usually flattened and always has a clear lateral edge. Various furrows, ridges or teeth can be found on the carapace; it is usually very granulated. The rostrum is rather small and covered by the "antennae thus". The eyes are located in eye sockets that are near the front edge of the carapace.

The first abdominal pleura is very short , and the second is the largest of all pleura. The somites have a transverse furrow on the back. The telson is divided into two parts. The anterior area is calcified and has the surface typical of the carapace and abdomen. The rear area is cuticle-like and has two longitudinal furrows.

The three segments of the base of the first pair of antennas (antennular peduncle) are cylindrical, the flagella are relatively short. The fourth segment of the second pair of antennas is greatly enlarged, wide and flat and usually has teeth on its outer edge. The last segment, which forms the long antenna in other decapods, is greatly shortened and also wide and flat. These two segments form the shovel-shaped antennae typical of slippery lobsters.

The first four pairs of walking legs do not have scissors , which is why the slipper crabs are counted among the Achelata . There are no swimming legs on the first segment of the abdomen .


The nocturnal animals live in all tropical and subtropical seas. In the Mediterranean there are two species, the up to ten centimeters long small bear crabs ( Scyllarus arctus ) and the slightly over 30 centimeters long large bear crabs ( Scyllarus latus ).

Taxonomy and systematics

Aristotle already mentioned slipper crabs with the name "arctus" in the Historia Animalium . In 1758, Carl von Linné named all of the slipper lobsters known of his time as Cancer arctus . Johann Christian Fabricius described the genus Scyllarus in 1775. After this genus name, Pierre André Latreille named the slippery shrimp family as Scyllaridae in 1825 .

Within the Achelata, the slipper crabs are probably a basal taxon and thus a sister group to the lobster and furry lobster .

The slippery lobsters are divided into four subfamilies and 22 genera as follows:

Without assignment to a subfamily:


  • Lipke B. Holthuis : A revision of the family Scyllaridae (Crustacea: Decapoda: Macrura). I. Subfamily Ibacinae . In: Zoologische Verhandelingen . Leiden 1985, p. 1-130 .
  • Lipke B. Holthuis: Marine Lobsters of the World . An Annotated and Illustrated Catalog of Species of Interest to Fisheries Known to Date. Ed .: Food and Agriculture Organization (=  FAO Fisheries Synopsis . Volume 125 ). Rome 1991, ISBN 92-5103027-8 ( ).
  • Lipke B. Holthuis: The Indo-Pacific scyllarine lobsters (Crustacea, Decapoda, Scyllaridae) . In: Zoosystema . tape 24 , no. 3 , 2002, p. 499–683 ( [PDF; 4.9 MB ; accessed on August 17, 2012]).
  • H. Füller, H.-E. Gruner, G. Hartwich, R. Kilias, M. Moritz: Urania Tierreich, Invertebrates 2 (Annelida to Chaetognatha) . Urania-Verlag, Leipzig 1994, ISBN 3-332-00502-2 .

Individual evidence

  1. Shane T. Ahyong, Denis O'Meally: Phylogeny of the Decapoda Reptantia: resolution using three molecular loci and morphology . In: The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology . tape 52 , no. 2 , 2004, p. 673–693 ( [PDF; 270 kB ; accessed on July 21, 2012]).
  2. Sammy De Grave, N. Dean Pentcheff, Shane T. Ahyong et al: A classification of living and fossil genera of decapod crustaceans . In: Raffles Bulletin of Zoology . Suppl. 21, 2009, p. 1–109 ( [PDF; 7,8 MB ; accessed on August 16, 2012]).

Web links

Commons : Slavic crabs  - collection of images, videos and audio files