This lithodid crab has a
triangular, lumpy carapace with an inverted U-shaped depression in the
middle of the dorsal side, deeper on the two lateral ends of the
and a few long spines along the lateral margins. The rostrum
is divided into two blunt lobes (photo).
legs are covered with thick, blunt spines. Carapace
width up to 10 cm. Usually grayish or brown.
be white with purple or orange markings.
Common name(s): Heart crab,
heart lithodid, papillid crab,
flat spined triangle crab, spiny-leg lithode crab
subtidal from Sares Head. About
5 cm carapace width.
|(Photo by: Dave
Cowles, July 2000)
How to Distinguish
from Similar Species: Rhinolithodes
wosnessenskii also has a triangular carapace
with a depression in the middle but the legs are covered with setae
and sharp spines, its rostrum
is not divided into two blunt lobes, and the carapace
has no tubercles
on the dorsal surface but has sharp spines along the margin.
Range: Dutch Harbor, Alaska
to San Miguel Island, California
Depth Range: Subtidal
to 183 m
rocks in deep water, especially
This species is
not frequently encountered. Captive individuals readily eat
May also eat sponges. This species often shelters under the
fernaldi, especially after molting (photo)
Juveniles can (rarely) be found under intertidal rocks.
Genus Phyllolithodes is characterized by large abdominal
softer centers (photo)
and Fairbanks, 1966
and Snook, 1955
and Hanby, 2005
General Notes and
Observations: Locations, abundances,
Several more views of the species. Photo by Dave Cowles, July
2000. Captured subtidally at Sares Head.
Phyllolithodea papillosus often takes
refuge under the crimson
Photo by Dave Cowles, July 2008
This view of the face shows the red eyes, the flattened scales, and
the blunt dorsal
lobes on the rostrum.
As in many Lithodid crabs, the abdomen is broad and
The abdominal plates are softer in the middle. Note also the
bristly setae on the chelae.
This female was carrying eggs. Photo by Dave Cowles, July 2018
|Several views of an individual captured at 12 m
depth on Sares Head,
June 2020. Carapace width 7 cm, carapace length 6.5 cm including
Photos by Dave Cowles
view. Below: Ventral
view with chelae. Below: Lateral
view of head and rostrum.
Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2005): Created original page