Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda (invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton (external skeleton), a segmented body, and jointed appendages
Subphylum: Crustacea (crabslobsterscrayfishshrimpkrill and barnacles). Distinguished from other groups of arthropods, such as insectsmyriapods and chelicerates, by the possession of biramous (two-parted) limbs
Class: Malacostraca  (crabslobsterscrayfishshrimpkrillwoodlice, scuds (Amphipoda), mantis shrimp and less familiar animals)
Subclass: Eumalacostraca
Superorder: Eucarida  (decapodskrill and Amphionides)
Order: Decapoda (literally “ten-footed”)  Includes crayfishcrabslobstersprawns and shrimp.
Suborder: Pleocyemata;  members of the Reptantia (including crabs, lobsters, crayfish, and others)
Infraorder: Anomura
Superfamily: Paguroidea (hermit crabs)
Family: Lithodidae (stone crabs)

Genus/species: Cryptolithodes typicus

 GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The carapace covers the thoracic segments extending so far out covering the tips of the legs. The rostrum is widest at the base and narrower at the tip. Chelipeds are covered with rough tubercles. Carapace color is variable, from dark gray-blue to bright orange, white (especially in small individuals), or red (especially in males). The central part of the carapace is often a different color than the “wings”. Carapace width to 8 cm (3 inches).

Cryptolothodes sitchensis has a similar carapace but its rostrum is widest at the tip and its chelae are smooth.

 Butterfly Crab14453583299_3d6be76343_oDISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Marine from Amchitka Island, Alaska to Santa Rosa Island, CA. Found in Rocky banks, shell rubble near rocky cliffs in open coast or inland waters, Depth Range: Low intertidal to 45 m (150 feet).

Butterfly Crab14453618558_e56e0e248d_o

DIET IN THE WILD: Feeds on bryozoans, coralline algae.



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 Photo vetted, Margarita Upton Biologist II Steinhart Aquarium California Academy of Sciences