Pea crabs symbiotic with polychaetes

Greg Farley farley at
Wed Nov 28 20:22:48 EST 2001

[apologies for crossposts!]

Dear colleagues:

Hello!  By way of introduction, I am a graduate student at Florida State 
University in Tallahassee.  My research revolves around the evolution and 
ecology of commensalism, and I'm using pea crabs (Brachyura: 
Pinnotheridae) as a model system. Several species of pea crabs are 
annelid symbionts, and I write to you with the hope that you might be able 
to help me collect pea crab specimens for gene sequencing and 
phylogenetic analysis.  

Several pea crab species in the genus Pinnixa are associated with 
annelids, typically polychaetes.  Most live as inquiline residents of worm-
constructed burrows.  It is my hope that some of you will be familiar with 
these crabs, even simply as "incidental" symbionts of the vermiferous taxa 
with which you work.  

If you would be willing to collect crabs, or know of someone who might, 
please contact me.  I've included a complete list of "wanted" taxa below, 
with hosts and species ranges where known.  I've included the genera 
Dissodactylus, Clypeasterophilus, and Fabia as well, even though they are 
bivalve or echinoderm symbionts; please feel free to distribute this list to 
colleagues who work with other host taxa!  

Thank you in advance for any help you can offer!  Ideally, collected 
specimens should be 'fixed' in 70-100% ethanol (formaldehyde makes 
genetic work impossible).  I would be happy to reimburse you for the cost 
of materials and shipping, and I would be more than willing to 'trade' local 
molluscan specimens from the northern Gulf of Mexico.  Good advice - 
particularly about other researchers who might be able to help me - would 
also be most welcome!  

With best regards,

Greg Farley
Department of Biological Science
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL  32301
(850) 644-9840
farley at

          host organism
Clypeasterophilus juvenilis
          Bahamas, Florida (Atlantic and Gulf), Yucatan peninsula
Clypeasterophilus rugatus
          Dominica, West Indies; Cuba, Florida
Clypeasterophilus ususfructus
          Gulf of CA to Ecuador

Dissodactylus borradailei
          fine white sand
          SE & SW Florida, Jamaica
Dissodactylus glasselli
          ECHINODERMS:  Mellita longifissa
          Chiapas, Mexico to El Salvador
Dissodactylus latus
          West Florida to Brazil
Dissodactylus lockingtoni
          ECHINODERMS:  Mellita longifissa; Encope emarginata, E. grandis, 
          Gulf of CA, Sonora, Mexico
Dissodactylus nitidus
          ECHINODERMS:  E. grandis, E. californica
          Mexico to El Salvador
Dissodactylus primitivus
          Tortugas, Florida
Dissodactylus schmitti
          White Friars, Mexico
Dissodactylus xantusi
          ECHINODERMS:  Mellita longifissa, Encope spp.
          Gulf of CA to Panama

Fabia byssomiae
          BIVALVES:  Byssomia distorta, Saxicava distorta, S. arctica
          W. Florida, NW Cuba
Fabia canfieldi
          LIMPETS:  Lucapina crenulata
          Monterey, CA
Fabia carvachoi
          Gulf of California
Fabia concharum
          BIVALVES:  Pachydesma, Tapes, Pholas, Mya, Donax, Modiola
          Santa Monica to San Diego, CA
Fabia emiliai
          SW Atlantic, Brazil
Fabia felderi
Fabia granti
          GASTROPODS: Crucibulum, Acmaea, Crepidula
          Gulf of California
Fabia malaguena
Fabia obtusidentata
Fabia subquadrata
          BIVALVES:  Mytilus, Tapes, Mya, Modiolus, Cardita
          Alaska to San Diego
Fabia tellinae
          BIVALVES:  tellins
          NW Florida to Alabama

Pinnixa barnharti
          HOLOTHURIANS:  Liosoma, Molpadia arenicola, Caudina, Holothuria
          Puget Sound to Mexico
Pinnixa cylindrica
          Arenicola cristata
          MA to SC, W and NW Florida
Pinnixa eburna
          POLYCHAETES:  Arenicola pusilla, A. claparedii
          WA to British Columbia
Pinnixa faba
          BIVALVES:  Lutraria, Tresus, Schizothaerus, Cardium
          AK to Newport Bay, CA
Pinnixa franciscana
          SHRIMP:  Callianassa, Upogebia; also Urechis caupo, Amphitrite 
          Francisco to Newport, CA
Pinnixa littoralis
          BIVALVES:  Mya, Saxidomus, Tapes
          AK to San Diego, CA
Pinnixa longipes
          POLYCHAETES:  Pectinaria, Pista, Clymarella, Urechis
Pinnixa rapax
          Argentina, Brazil
Pinnixa sayana
          free-living on sand, also occasionally with Arenicola
          MA to NC; W. Florida, Louisiana
Pinnixa schmitti
          BIVALVES:  Macoma secta, POLYCHAETES: Pista, 
Upogebia;also Echiura
          CA to Mazatlan, Mexico
Pinnixa tubicola
          POLYCHAETES:  Serpulidae, Amphitrite, Terebellidae
          AK to San Diego, CA
Pinnixa tumida
          HOLOTHURIANS:  (Para)Caudina chilensis
          China, Japan

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