Blue swimmer crab Portunus pelagicus, from here.

Belongs within: Heterotremata.
Contains: Liocarcinus, Thalamita.

The Portunidae, swimming crabs, are a family of marine crabs in which the ends of the last pair of legs have generally been modified into broad paddles used for swimming. They are active predators, and may be relatively aggressive. Some species of this family have become the focus of commercial fisheries.

Characters (from Poore & Ahyong 2004): Carapace typically subhexagonal or transversely oval, flat, regions not well defined, usually wider than long and widest between last pair of anterolateral teeth; 1-9 pairs of anterolateral teeth; front horizontal, wide, lobulate or dentate. Eyes typically short, well protected by sunken rounded orbits; rarely greatly lengthened and largely unprotected. Lobe on endite of maxilliped 1 ('portunid lobe') usually present. Chelipeds typically robust; fingers usually sharply pointed, occasionally spoon-shaped. Last pair of legs generally modified for swimming, with propodus and dactylus paddle-like; dactylus rarely styliform. Abdominal somites 3-5 typically fused in males; male genital openings coxal; female openings sternal.

    |--Proterocarcinus Feldmann, Casadío et al. 1995 [Polybiinae] CA04
    |    |--*P. lophos Feldmann, Casadío et al. 1995 CA04
    |    |--P. corsolini Casadío, de Angeli et al. 2004 CA04
    |    `--P. latus (Glaessner 1933) [=Archaeogeryon latus] CA04
    |--Macropipus Prestandrea 1833 B64 [Macropipinae B68]
    |    |--M. puber V77
    |    `--M. tuberculatus (Roux 1830) KK03
    |--Catoptrinae B68
    |--Carcinus DAS03 [Carcininae B68]
    |    |--C. aestuarii Nardo 1847 KK03
    |    |--C. maenas (Linnaeus 1758) DAS03 [incl. Zoea carcini H04]
    |    `--C. mediterraneus V77
    |--Podophthalminae B68
    |    |--Euphylax B68
    |    `--Podophthalmus vigil B68
    |--Caphyrinae TSH09
    |    |--Lissocarcinus orbicularis Dana 1852 TSH09
    |    `--Caphyra TSH09
    |         |--C. laevis (Milne Edwards 1869) TSH09
    |         `--C. rotundifrons DH90
    |--Thalamitinae TSH09
    |    |--Charybdis TSH09
    |    |    |--C. cruciata G75
    |    |    |--C. hellerii (Milne-Edwards 1867) KK03
    |    |    |--C. hongkongensis Shen 1934 MG-H11
    |    |    |--C. longicollis Leene 1938 KK03
    |    |    `--C. miles (de Haan 1835) MG-H11
    |    `--Thalamita MG-H11
    `--Portunus LH03 [Portuninae TSH09]
         |  i. s.: P. barbarus Lucas 1846 E12
         |         P. depurator H15
         |         P. haanii (Stimpson 1858) MG-H11
         |         P. hastatoides (Fabricius 1798) MG-H11
         |         P. hastatus (Linnaeus 1767) KK03
         |         P. longispinosus (Dana 1852) MG-H11
         |         P. nipponensis (Sakai 1938) MG-H11
         |         P. pulchricristatus (Gordon 1931) MG-H11
         |         P. pusillus M62
         |         P. sayi B64
         |         P. spinimanus Latreille 1819 BF07
         |--P. (Portunus) B68
         |    |--P. (P.) pelagicus (Linnaeus 1766) B68, WMJ09
         |    `--P. (P.) sanguinolentus (Herbst 1783) B68, LH03
         `--P. (Achelous) TSH09
              |--P. (A.) brevimanus B68
              |--P. (A.) granulatus (Milne Edwards 1834) TSH09
              `--P. (A.) xantusii B68

Portunidae incertae sedis:
  Chaceon Manning & Holthuis 1989 [incl. Lebucarcinus Bahamonde & Frassinetti 1980] CA04
    |--C. albus MG-H11
    |--C. bicolor MG-H11
    |--C. peruvianus (d’Orbigny 1842) CA04
    `--‘Cancer’ tyro Philippi 1887 [=*Lebucarcinus tyro] CA04
  Callinectes Stimpson 1860 B55
    |--C. arcuatus Ordway 1863 B55
    |--C. bellicosus AH81
    |--C. bocourti Milne-Edwards 1879 B55
    |--C. danae Smith 1869 BF07
    |--C. exasperatus AH81
    |--C. latimanus AH81
    |--C. marginatus AH81
    |--C. ornatus Ordway 1863 BF07
    |--C. sapidus Rathbun 1896 KK03
    |--C. similis AH81
    `--C. toxotes Ordway 1863 B55
  Arenaeus cribrarius (Lamarck 1818) BF07
  Echinolatus poorei Davie & Crosnier 2006 MG-H11
  Libystes paucidentatus Stephenson & Campbell 1960 MG-H11
  Liocarcinus B64
  Lupocyclus MG-H11
    |--L. philippinensis Semper 1880 MG-H11
    `--L. quinquedentatus Rathbun 1906 MG-H11
  Nectocarcinus Milne Edwards 1860 B64
    |--N. antarcticus (Jacquinot in Jacq. & Lucas 1853) [=Portunus antarcticus] B64
    |--N. bullatus B64
    |--N. integrifrons B64
    |--N. spinifrons Stephenson 1961 MG-H11
    `--N. tuberculosus B64
  Ovalipes Rathbun 1898 (see below for synonymy) B64
    |--O. catharus H01
    |--O. elongatus Stephenson & Rees 1968 MG-H11
    |--O. floridanus V77
    |--O. iridescens (Miers 1886) MG-H11
    |--O. ocellatus K-M02
    `--O. punctatus (de Haan 1833) (see below for synonymy) B64
  Parathranites orientalis (Miers 1886) MG-H11
  Scylla serrata V77

Ovalipes Rathbun 1898 [incl. Anisopus de Haan 1833 non Meigen 1803, Platyonichus Latr. 185 non Latr. 1818] B64

Ovalipes punctatus (de Haan 1833) [=Corystes (Anisopus) punctata; incl. Platyonichus bipustulatus Milne Edwards 1861, Ovalipes bipustulatus] B64

*Type species of generic name indicated


[AH81] Abele, L. G., K. L. Heck, Jr, D. S. Simberloff & G. J. Vermeij. 1981. Biogeography of crab claw size: assumptions and a null hypothesis. Systematic Zoology 30 (4): 406–424.

[B68] Barnes, R. S. K. 1968. On the evolution of elongate ocular peduncles by the Brachyura. Systematic Zoology 17 (2): 182–187.

[B64] Bennett, E. W. 1964. The marine fauna of New Zealand: Crustacea Brachyura. New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Bulletin 153: 1–120.

[B55] Bott, R. 1955. Dekapoden (Crustacea) aus El Salvador. 2. Litorale Dekapoden, außer Uca. Senckenbergiana Biologica 36: 45–70.

[BF07] Braga, A. A., A. Fransozo, G. Bertini & P. B. Fumis. 2007. Bathymetric distribution and recruitment of the spider crab Libinia spinosa H. Milne Edwards 1834 in the Ubatuba and Caraguatatuba regions, northern coast of São Paulo, Brazil (Crustacea, Brachyura, Majoidea, Pisidae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 87 (1): 7–16.

[CA04] Casadío, S., A. de Angeli, R. M. Feldmann, A. Garassino, J. L. Hetler, A. Parras & C. E. Schweitzer. 2004. New decapod crustaceans (Thalassinidea, Galatheoidea, Brachyura) from the Middle Oligocene of Patagonia, Argentina. Annals of Carnegie Museum 73 (2): 25–47.

[DAS03] Dixon, C. J., S. T. Ahyong & F. R. Schram. 2003. A new hypothesis of decapod phylogeny. Crustaceana 76: 935–975.

[DH90] Duffy, J. E., & M. E. Hay. 1990. Seaweed adaptations to herbivory. BioScience 40 (5): 368–375.

[E12] Evenhuis, N. L. 2012. Publication and dating of the Exploration Scientifique de l'Algérie: Histoire Naturelle des Animaux Articulés (1846–1849) by Pierre Hippolyte Lucas. Zootaxa 3448: 1–61.

[G75] Grant, E. M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. The Co-ordinator-General's Department: Brisbane (Australia).

[H04] Haeckel, E. 1899–1904. Kunstformen der Natur. Bibliographisches Institut: Leipzig und Wien.

[H01] Harcourt, R. G. 2001. Advances in New Zealand mammalogy 1990-2000: pinnipeds. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 31 (1): 135–160.

[H15] Harmer, S. F. 1915. The Polyzoa of the Siboga Expedition—Part I. Entoprocta, Ctenostomata and Cyclostomata. E. J. Brill: Leyden.

[K-M02] Klein-MacPhee, G. 2002. Croakers, drums, and weakfishes. Family Sciaenidae. In: Collette, B. B., & G. Klein-MacPhee (eds) Bigelow and Schroeder’s Fishes of the Gulf of Maine 3rd ed. pp. 435–446. Smithsonian Institute Press: Washington.

[KK03] Kocataş, A., & T. Katağan. 2003. The decapod crustacean fauna of the Turkish seas. Zoology in the Middle East 29: 63–74.

[LH03] Lee, H.-H., & C.-C. Hsu. 2003. Population biology of the swimming crab Portunus sanguinolentus in the waters off northern Taiwan. Journal of Crustacean Biology 23 (3): 691–699.

[MG-H11] McEnnulty, F. R., K. L. Gowlett-Holmes, A. Williams, F. Althaus, J. Fromont, G. C. B. Poore, T. D. O'Hara, L. Marsh, P. Kott, S. Slack-Smith, P. Alderslade & M. V. Kitahara. 2011. The deepwater megabenthic invertebrates on the western continental margin of Australia (100–1100 m depths): composition, distribution and novelty. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 80: 1–191.

[M62] Monniot, F. 1962. Recherches sur les graviers a Amphioxus de la région de Banyuls-sur-Mer. Vie et Milieu 13: 231–322.

Poore, G. C. B., & S. T. Ahyong. 2004. Marine Decapod Crustacea of Southern Australia: a guide to identification. CSIRO Publishing.

[TSH09] Titelius, M. A., A. Sampey & C. G. Hass. 2009. Crustaceans of Mermaid (Rowley Shoals), Scott and Seringapatam Reefs, north Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 77: 145–176.

[V77] Vermeij, G. J. 1977. Patterns in crab claw size: the geography of crushing. Systematic Zoology 26 (2): 138–151.

[WMJ09] Wells, F. E., M. Mulligan & D. S. Jones. 2009. Prevention of introduction of species brought into Geraldton Harbour, Western Australia, by the dredge Leonardo da Vinci. Records of the Western Australian Museum 25 (2): 153–158.

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