Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 37–46 | Cite as

Carrying behavior in the deep-sea crab Paromola cuvieri (Northeast Atlantic)

  • Andreia Braga-Henriques
  • Marina Carreiro-Silva
  • Fernando Tempera
  • Filipe Mora Porteiro
  • Kirsten Jakobsen
  • Joachim Jakobsen
  • Mónica Albuquerque
  • Ricardo Serrão Santos
Original Paper


Observations of deep-sea homolids are becoming more common, but good-resolution imagery of these crabs in the natural environment is still scarce. Sixteen new in situ observations of Paromola cuvieri from various locations within the central and eastern groups of the Azores Archipelago (Northeast Atlantic) are described here based on video footage collected by two submersible vehicles. Crabs were found on coral gardens and deep-sea sponge aggregations, which are priority habitats of conservation importance under OSPARCOM. Diverse sessile megafauna were recorded (>59 taxa), including sponges, hydroids, corals, brachiopods, crinoids and oysters. Overall, 75% of the crabs were carrying live specimens of sessile invertebrates, mainly sponges and cold-water corals. Object selection shows to be a more complex process than previously thought, in which factors such as morphology, size and weight of objects and also palatability seem to be more important in the process of object selection than their availability.


Homolidae Habitat Camouflage Anti-predator defense Azores Video 



This study was funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) under the projects CORAZON (FCT/PTDC/MAR/72169/2006), CoralFISH (FP7 ENV/2007/1/213144) and Hermione (FP7 ENV/2008/1/226354). EMEPC is acknowledged for sharing the data of ROV surveys in the Azores region. We also thank P. Ribeiro and I. Sampaio for notifying the existence of footage with homolid crabs obtained during the campaign Luso 09 from EMEPC. A. Braga-Henriques is funded by a FRCT Doctoral grant (ref. M3.1.2/F/016/2008) and M. Carreiro Silva by a Post-doctoral grant (SFRH/BPD/34634/2007). IMAR-DOP/UAz is Research and Development Unit #531 and ISR-Associated Laboratory #9 funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) through pluri-annual and programmatic funding schemes (OE, FEDER, POCI2001, FSE) and by the Azores Directorate for Science, Technology and Communications (DRCTC).

Supplementary material

12526_2011_90_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (177 kb)
Table S1 List of taxa observed in each video sequence. Sites (1a-h to 6) are shown in Fig.1. Values correspond to percentage of total observations per site (PDF 176 kb)
12526_2011_90_MOESM2_ESM.m1v (17.2 mb)
ESM_2. mpeg (dive 070–00:01:11:24) HD video footage of ‘LULA’ dive 070 with the duration of ca. 1 min is presented documenting carrying and response behavior of P. cuvieri. (MOV 17 MB)
12526_2011_90_MOESM3_ESM.m1v (17.7 mb)
ESM_3. mpeg (dive 136–00:01:14:11) HD video footage of ‘LULA’ dive 136 with the duration of ca. 1 min is presented documenting carrying and response behavior of P. cuvieri. (MOV 17 MB)
12526_2011_90_MOESM4_ESM.m1v (17.5 mb)
ESM_4. mpeg (dive 147, 1 record - 00:01:13:15) HD video footage of ‘LULA’ dive 147 (record 1) with the duration of ca. 1 min is presented documenting carrying and response behavior of P. cuvieri. (MOV 17 MB)


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg, Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreia Braga-Henriques
    • 1
  • Marina Carreiro-Silva
    • 1
  • Fernando Tempera
    • 1
  • Filipe Mora Porteiro
    • 1
  • Kirsten Jakobsen
    • 2
  • Joachim Jakobsen
    • 2
  • Mónica Albuquerque
    • 3
  • Ricardo Serrão Santos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Oceanography and FisheriesIMAR/DOP-University of the AzoresHortaPortugal
  2. 2.Rebikoff-Niggeler Foundation, Rocha VermelhaHortaPortugal
  3. 3.Portuguese Task Group for the Extension of the Continental Shelf (EMEPC)Paço de ArcosPortugal

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