Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory

<em>Uroptyptus australis</em> [Henderson 1888: pl. 21 fig. 4]

Uroptyptus australis [Henderson 1888: pl. 21 fig. 4]


Regional Maps

Family CHIROSTYLIDAE Ortmann, 1892

Compiler and date details

June, 2010 - Peter Davie, Queensland Museum


The squat lobsters of the family Chirostylidae are mostly deep water inhabitants living on the continental slope and into abyssal depths. Their biology is still relatively poorly known, but they are often associated with deep water cnidarians such as antipatharians, alcyonaceans and gorgonaceans. Worldwide the superfamily Chirostylidoidea comprises three families eight genera and at least 192 species with Uroptychus (124 species) being the most speciose genus (Baba et al., 2008).

The Australian chirostylid fauna has historically had little attention: Henderson (1885, 1888), Baba (1986, 2000), de Saint Laurent & Macpherson (1990a, b), and de Saint Laurent & Poupin (1996), and Davie (2002) listed only eight species in four genera from Australia. Since then, however, the fauna has been considerably expanded by the work of Ahyong & Poore (2004) on southern and southeastern Australian collections, and by Ahyong & Baba (2004) on the northwestern Australian fauna. Thus four genera and 37 species are now recognised for Australian waters, with the number likely to increase when the deepwater faunas off north Queensland and the Coral Sea are studied.

Members of the Chirostylidae closely resemble Galatheidae in appearance. The two families, together with the Porcellanidae and the Aeglidae, were grouped under the superfamily Galatheoidea, though there is now strong evidence that the Aeglidae must be removed (Morrison et al. 2002; Porter et al. 2005; McLaughlin et al. 2007; Ahyong et al. 2009). Another recently described family, the Kiwaidae, is now grouped in the CHirostyloidea (Schnabel & Ahyong 2010), though McLauglin et al. (2007) had previously suggested it needed separate superfamily rank. The most recent reappraisal of the group by Schnabel & Ahyong (2010) formally recognises a superfamily Chirostyloidea, and resurrected the Eumunidae for two genera, Eumunida Smith, 1883, and Pseudomunida Haig, 1979.



Carapace surface smooth, tuberculate or spinose but without transverse striae, posterolateral margin not distinctly defined or greatly inflated; rostrum variously shaped; supraocular spines absent. Anterolateral margin of abdominal somite 2 without prominent, anterolaterally directed spine. Sternite 3 not strongly produced anteriorly. Eyes well developed. Basal antennular article with distolateral spines. Antennal peduncle consisting of 5 articles; acicle present or absent. Mandibular cutting edge calcified, strongly serrated along its length. Maxilliped 1 without epipod; exopod flagellum present or absent, not annulated. Maxilliped 3 to pereopod 4 each with 2 arthrobranchs (well-developed or vestigial on maxilliped 3). Pereopod 5 with 1 arthrobranch only. Pereopods 2–4 with pleurobranch. Male pleopods 1 and 2 present. Male pleopods 3–5 vestigial or absent. (Schnabel & Ahyong 2010).


General References

Ahyong, S.T. & Baba, K. 2004. Chirostylidae from north-western Australia (Crustacea: Decapoda: Anomura). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 61(1): 57-64

Ahyong, S.T. & Poore, G.C.B. 2004. The Chirostylidae of southern Australia (Crustacea, Decapoda, Anomura). Zootaxa 436: 1-88

Baba, K. 1986. Two new Anomuran Crustacea (Decapoda: Anomura) from North-west Australia. The Beagle. Occasional Papers of the Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences 3(1): 1-5

Baba, K. 2000. Two new species of Chirostylids (Decapoda: Anomura: Chirostylidae) from Tasmania. Journal of Crustacean Biology 20(Spec. No. 2): 246-252

Baba, K., Macpherson, E., Poore, G.C.B., Ahyong, S.T., Bermudez, A., Cabezas, P., Lin, C-W, Nizinski, M., Rodrigues, C. & Schnabel, K.E. 2008. Catalogue of squat lobsters of the world (Crustacea: Decapoda: Anomura—families Chirostylidae, Galatheidae and Kiwaidae). Zootaxa 1905: 1-220 [Date published 15 Oct. 2008]

Davie, P. 2002. Crustacea: Malacostraca: Eucarida (Part 2): Decapoda—Anomura, Brachyura. In Wells, A. & Houston, W.W.K. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol. 19.3B. Melbourne : CSIRO Publishing, Australia xiv 641 pp.

de Saint Laurent, M. & Macpherson, E. 1990. Crustacea Decapoda: Le genre Eumunida Smith, 1883 (Chirostylidae) dans les eaux néo-caledoniennes. In: Crosnier, A. (ed.), Résultats des Campagnes MUSORSTOM, Volume 6. Mémoires du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris [1936-1950] A 145: 227-288

de Saint Laurent, M. & Macpherson, E. 1990. Les espèces atlantiques du genre Eumunida Smith, 1883 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Chirostylidae). Journal of Natural History 24: 647-666

Henderson, J.R. 1885. Diagnoses of the new species of Galatheidae collected during the "Challenger" Expedition. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 16(5): 407-421

Henderson, J.R. 1888. Report on the Anomura collected by H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873–1876. Report on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger 1873–1876, Zoology 27: 1-221 21 pls

McLaughlin, P.A., Lemaitre, R. & Sorhannus, U. 2007. Hermit crab phylogeny: a reappraisal and its “fall-out”. Journal of Crustacean Biology 27(1): 97-115

Morrison, C.L., Harvey, A.W., Lavery, S., Tieu, K., Huang, Y. & Cunningham, C.W. 2002. Mitochondrial gene rearrangements confirm the parallel evolution of the crab-like body form. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 269: 345-350

Porter, M.L., Pérez-Losada, M. & Crandall, K.A. 2005. Modelbased multi-locus estimation of decapod phylogeny and divergence times. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 37: 355-369

Saint Laurent, M. de, & Poupin, J. 1996. Crustacea Anomura: Les espèces indo-ouest pacifiques du genre Eumunida Smith, 1880 (Chirostylidae). Description de six espèces nouvelles. In, A. Crosnier (Ed.), Résultats des Campagnes Musorstom, Volume 15. Mémoires du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris [1936-1950] A 168: 337-385, figs 1-13

Schnabel, K. & Ahyong, S.T. 2010. A new classification of the Chirostyloidea (Crustacea: Decapoda: Anomura). Zootaxa 2687: 56–64


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
05-Dec-2019 DECAPODA Latreille, 1802 07-Mar-2019 MODIFIED Dr Shane Ahyong
24-Apr-2012 01-May-2012 MODIFIED
24-Apr-2012 17-Jun-2010 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)