pea crab

pea crab

noun
any of several tiny crabs of the family Pinnotheridae, the female of which lives as a commensal in the shells of bivalve mollusks.

Origin:
1830–40

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To pea crab
Collins
World English Dictionary
pea crab
 
n
any of various globular soft-bodied crabs of the genus Pinnotheres and related genera that live commensally in the mantles of certain bivalves

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

pea crab

any member of a genus (Pinnotheres) of crabs (order Decapoda) living in certain bivalve mollusks as a commensal (i.e., on or in another animal host but not deriving nourishment from it). Females of Pinnotheres ostreum, also known as the oyster crab, are found in oysters of the Atlantic coastal waters of North America and are especially abundant in oysters of Chesapeake Bay. The body of the female is pinkish white and up to 2 cm (about 0.75 inch) across. An irregular stripe runs from front to back across the carapace, or back. Males, seldom seen, are smaller, dark brown, and usually free-swimming. The female pea crab holds her eggs with the back legs until they hatch. The larvae leave their mollusk home and swim before settling in another mollusk shell

Learn more about pea crab with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature