Specimen of Polycheles, photographed by David Shale.

Belongs within: Decapoda.
Contains: Astacura, Thalassinida, Achelata, Anomala, Brachyura.

The Reptantia are the clade of crustaceans containing decapods other than the shrimps, e.g. crabs, lobsters and crayfish. As the name of the group indicates ('walkers'), reptants are characterised by more robust legs allowing them to walk rather than swim across the surface of the substrate. The basal Polychelidae retain some features found in natant decapods, such as an elongate, triangular telson and a flexible single articulation between the carpus and propodus of the first pereiopod. The Jurassic to Cretaceous Eryonidae may be early relatives of the Polychelidae. In the Eureptantia, the telson is short and rounded and the first pereiopod bears a stable double hinge between carpus and propodus; Dixon et al. (2003) suggested that the common ancestor of eureptants may have adopted a burrowing habit.

Within the Eureptantia, the Astacura are indicated as the possible sister-group to the remaining taxa (the Sterropoda) by the latter grouping having the first three segmentes of each pereiopod fused, and the third pereiopod lacking a chela (Dixon et al. 2003).

Synapomorphies (from Dixon et al. 2003): Pereiopods articulating in a medio-lateral manner (enabling walking); first two segments of PI fused together. Carapace is calcified and flattened, telson lacking spines. Mandible with long articulation along anterior edge. Third maxilliped shortened relative to other thoracopods; first pereiopod enlarged.

<==Reptantia [Palinura, Palinuridea]
    |--Polychelida [Eryonoidea] DAS03
    |    |--Eryonidae BWW93
    |    |    |--Proeryon hargmanni (Von Meyer 1835) BWW93
    |    |    `--Eryon neocomiensis Woodward 1881 BWW93
    |    `--Polychelidae DAS03
    |         |--Cardus crucifer (Thomson 1873) [incl. Eryoneicus inermis Bernard 1953] B06
    |         |--Willemoesiocaris ovalis Van Straelen 1925 BWW93
    |         |--Pentacheles B06
    |         |    |--P. laevis Bate 1878 [incl. Polycheles granulatus Faxon 1893] B06
    |         |    `--P. validus Milne Edwards 1880 B06
    |         `--Polycheles [incl. Eryoneicus Bate 1882 (nom. rej.)] B06
    |              |--P. amemiyai Yokoya 1933 B06
    |              |--P. auriculatus (Bate 1878) MG-H11
    |              |--P. coccifer Galil 2000 MG-H11
    |              |--P. enthrix (Bate 1878) B06
    |              |--P. galil Ahyong & Brown 2002 DAS03
    |              |--‘Eryoneicus’ jesperseni Bernard 1953 B06
    |              |--P. nanus (Smith 1884) [=Pentacheles nanus, Stereomastis nana] B06
    |              |--P. perarmatus Holthuis 1952 [=P. typhlops perarmata] B06
    |              |--P. sculptus Smith 1880 [=Pentacheles sculptus, Stereomastis sculpta] B06
    |              |--P. suhmi (Bate 1878) MG-H11
    |              |--P. talismani Bouvier 1917 [=Polyceles sculptus var. talismani] B06
    |              `--P. typhlops Heller 1862 B06
    `--Eureptantia DAS03
         |--Astacura DAS03
         `--Sterropoda [Anomura] DAS03
              |  i. s.: Paralithodes PH03
              |           |--P. camtschaticus (Tilesius 1815) G10
              |           `--P. platypus (Brandt 1850) PH03
              |         Anapagurus KK03
              |           |--A. bicorniger M-Edwards & Bouvier 1892 KK03
              |           |--A. breviacuelatus Fenizia 1937 KK03
              |           |--A. chiroacanthus (Liljeborg 1856) KK03
              |           |--A. hyndmanni PP64
              |           |--A. laevis (Bell 1846) KK03
              |           |--A. longispina Milne-Edwards & Bouvier 1892 KK03
              |           `--A. petiti Dechancé & Forest 1962 KK03
              |         Australeremus cooki PG98
              |--Thalassinida DAS03
              `--Eurysternalia DAS03
                   |--Achelata DAS03
                   `--Meiura [Palinurini] DAS03
                        |  i. s.: Mycteris longicarpus H15
                        |         Holoecius cordiformis H15
                        |         Domicea acanthophora W87
                        |         Lopholithodes mandtii SBM11
                        |--Anomala DAS03
                        `--Brachyura DAS03

Reptantia incertae sedis:
  Acanthacaris DAS03
  Chaeraps preissii [incl. C. preissii var. angustus] N24
  Notomithrax HS01
    |--N. minor HS01
    `--N. peronii HS01
  Fredius MT08
    |--F. fittkaui (Bott 1967) MT08
    `--F. platyacanthus Rodríguez & Pereira 1992 MT08
  Neosarmatium trispinosum W08
  Fabia chilensis FP66
  Gourretia denticulata (Lutze 1837) KK03
  Pinnaxia transversalis CS77
  Potambus CS77
    |--P. leptodactylus CS77
    `--P. pachypus CS77
  Chionocetes opilio (Fabricius 1798) G10
  Pugettia quadridens (de Haan 1839) G10
  Palaeopalaemon Whitefield 1880 S77 [Palaeopalaemonidae BWW93]
    |--P. iowensis S74
    `--P. newberryi Whitfield 1880 BWW93
  Cancrinos [Cancrinidae] BWW93
    `--C. claviger Münster 1839 BWW93
  Coleiidae BWW93
    |--Coleia antiqua BWW93
    `--Hellerocaris BWW93
  Tetrachela [Tetrachelidae] BWW93
    `--T. raiblana (Bronn 1858) BWW93

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B06] Boyko, C. B. 2006. New and historical records of polychelid lobsters (Crustacea: Decapoda: Polychelidae) from the Yale Peabody Museum collections. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History 47 (1–2): 37–46.

[BWW93] Briggs, D. E. G., M. J. Weedon & M. A. Whyte. 1993. Arthropoda (Crustacea excluding Ostracoda). In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 321–342. Chapman & Hall: London.

[CS77] Cramp, S., & K. E. L. Simmons (eds) 1977. Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa: The Birds of the Western Palaearctic vol. 1. Ostrich to Ducks. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

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

[FP66] Fell, H. B., & D. L. Pawson. 1966. Echinacea. In: Moore, R. C. (ed.) Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology pt U. Echinodermata 3 vol. 2 pp. U367–U440. The Geological Society of America, Inc., and The University of Kansas Press.

[G10] Grigoryeva, N. I. 2010. Seasonal dynamics of the crab larvae in Minonosok Inlet (Posyet Bay, Peter the Great Bay, the Sea of Japan) in 2000–2004. In: China-Russia Bilateral Symposium: Proceedings of the China-Russia Bilateral Symposium of "Comparison on Marine Biodiversity in the Northwest Pacific Ocean", 10–11 October 2010, Qingdao (China) pp. 155–164. Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences; A. V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

[HS01] Hayward, B. W., A. B. Stephenson, M. S. Morley, W. M. Blom, H. R. Grenfell, F. J. Brook, J. L. Riley, F. Thompson & J. J. Hayward. 2001. Marine biota of Parengarenga Harbour, Northland, New Zealand. Records of the Auckland Museum 37: 45–80.

[H15] Hedley, C. 1915. Presidential address. Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales 49 (1): 1–77, pls 1–7.

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

[MT08] Magalhães, C., & M. Türkay. 2008. A new species of Kingsleya from the Yanomami Indians area in the upper Rio Orinoco, Venezuela (Crustacea, Decapoda, Brachyura, Pseudothelphusidae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 88 (2): 231–237.

[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.

[N24] Nicholls, G. E. 1924. Neoniphargus branchialis, a new freshwater amphipod from south-western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 10 (14): 105–111.

[PP64] Peres, J. M., & J. Picard. 1964. Nouveau manuel de bionomie benthique de la mer Mediterranee. Recueil des Travaux de la Station Marine d'Endoume, Bulletin 31 (27): 5–137.

[PH03] Pinheiro, M. A. A., & G. Y. Hattori. 2003. Embryology of the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus (Brachyura: Ocypodidae). Journal of Crustacean Biology 23 (3): 729–737.

[PG98] Probert, P. K., & S. L. Grove. 1998. Macrobenthic assemblages of the continental shelf and upper slope off the west coast of South Island, New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 28: 259–280.

[S74] Schram, F. R. 1974. Convergences between Late Paleozoic and modern caridoid Malacostraca. Systematic Zoology 23 (3): 323–332.

[S77] Schram, F. R. 1977. Paleozoogeography of Late Paleozoic and Triassic Malacostraca. Systematic Zoology 26 (4): 367–379.

[SBM11] Solomon, E. P., L. R. Berg & D. W. Martin (eds) 2011. Biology 9th ed. Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning.

[W08] Wilson, B. 2008. Background information on Faure Island, Shark Bay, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 75: 1–9.

[W87] Withers, N. 1987. Dinoflagellate sterols. In: Taylor, F. J. R. (ed.) The Biology of Dinoflagellates pp. 316–359. Blackwell Scientific.

Last updated: 27 December 2021.

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