Habitat utilization, demography, and behavioral observations of the squat lobster, Eumunida picta (Crustacea: Anomura: Eumunididae), on western North Atlantic deep-water coral habitats
Advanced Search
Select up to three search categories and corresponding keywords using the fields to the right. Refer to the Help section for more detailed instructions.

Search our Collections & Repository

For very narrow results

When looking for a specific result

Best used for discovery & interchangable words

Recommended to be used in conjunction with other fields



Document Data
Clear All
Clear All

For additional assistance using the Custom Query please check out our Help Page


Habitat utilization, demography, and behavioral observations of the squat lobster, Eumunida picta (Crustacea: Anomura: Eumunididae), on western North Atlantic deep-water coral habitats

Filetype[PDF-2.31 MB]


  • Journal Title:
    Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers
  • Personal Author:
  • NOAA Program & Office:
  • Description:
    Deep-sea coral habitats, comprising mostly Lophelia pertusa (Linnaeus 1758), are well developed on the upper and middle continental slope off the southeastern United States (SEUS). These habitats support a diverse and abundant invertebrate fauna, yet ecology and biology of most of these species are poorly known. Ten cruises conducted off the SEUS (Summer–Fall; Cape Lookout, NC–Cape Canaveral, FL) from 2000 to 2005, and in 2009 provided an opportunity to investigate abundance and distribution of Eumunida picta Smith1883, a large-sized species of squat lobster commonly associated with these deep-water coral habitats. Video analysis from 70 manned-submersible dives documented occurrence, density, location on the coral colony, and behavioral observations for 5774 individuals of E. picta. Individuals collected (n = 178) from coral and adjacent habitats (e.g., rubble, soft sediments) were measured and their sex determined. Males and females were comparable in size (to 53.5 mm carapace length) and exhibited a sex ratio of approximately 1:1. Eumunida picta were most frequently observed as solitary individuals on high-profile coral matrix and were noted only infrequently on coral rubble, or rarely on soft substratum. Presence of coral habitat (i.e., live/dead L. pertusa), geographic region within the sampling area, and depth significantly influenced abundances of E. picta. Additionally, coral habitat (dead versus live coral), vertical position on the coral (upper, middle, or lower zone), as well as horizontal position in relation to the coral matrix (outer surface versus embedded in coral matrix) were significant factors influencing E. picta distributions within the coral habitat. More individuals were found on dead versus live coral, and most frequently occurred on the outer surfaces of coral branches located on the upper portion or near the tops of coral colonies. Eumunida picta were most often observed with claws extended into the water column. This unique hunting stance provides this squat lobster the opportunity to capture prey from the water column. An active predator, this species utilizes both pelagic (i.e., fishes, pyrosomes) and benthic (e.g., scavenging and grazing) food resources, and may function as an important trophic link between the water column and the benthos. Although considered a facultative reef associate in the strictest sense of the term, E. picta has a complex and intimate relationship with L. pertusa. Based on observations from dive videos, E. picta is a dominant and ecologically important member of the invertebrate assemblage associated with deep-sea coral habitats off the SEUS. As such, this species figures prominently in the structure and function of this ecosystem.
  • Keywords:
  • Source:
    Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 193, 103953
  • DOI:
  • ISSN:
  • Format:
  • Publisher:
  • Document Type:
  • License:
  • Rights Information:
  • Compliance:
  • Main Document Checksum:
  • Download URL:
  • File Type:

Supporting Files

More +

You May Also Like

Checkout today's featured content at repository.library.noaa.gov

Version 3.26.1