Family PYLOCHELIDAE Bate, 1888
Family PYLOCHELIDAE Bate, 1888
- Pylochelidae Bate, C.S. 1888. Report on the Crustacea Macrura collected by H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873–76. Report on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger 1873–1876, Zoology 24: 1-942, i-xc figs 1-76 pls 1-150 .
Type genus:Pylocheles A. Milne Edwards, 1880.
- Pomatochelidae Stebbing, T.R.R. 1914. South African Crustacea. Part VII. Annals of the South African Museum 15: 1-112 .
Type genus:Pomatocheles Miers, 1879.
Pylochelids form an unusual family of more or less symmetrical-bodied `hermit crabs' that live in a variety of objects other than coiled gastropod shells. Their homes include tusk shells (Scaphopoda: Dentalidae), sponges, dead corals, calcareous rocks, pieces of bamboo or other hollow plant material, and even mangroves. Their chelae are often specialised to form an operculum, completely closing the cavity in which they live. They are found in all oceans, from shallow intertidal to relatively deep water. The family was revised thoroughly by Forest (1987), who recognised six subfamilies, only two of which are represented in Australia.
Taxonomic Decision for Synonymy
- Forest, J. 1987. Résultats de campagnes MUSORSTOM. Les Pylochelidae ou `pagures symetriques' (Crustacea Coenobitoidea). Mémoires du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle. Paris 137: 1-254 
Carapace pagurid in form, divided by a linea transversalis, completely or not, into a strongly calcified anterior region, and a more or less calcified posterior region. Frontal border with or without a rostrum. Abdomen macrouriform, symmetrical or not, segments distinct, dorsally calcified, articulated. Telson well developed, uni- or bi-articulated. Ocular peduncles normal or reduced; corneas large, reduced or absent. Antennular and antennal peduncles both well developed; flagella and antennal scales present. Endopodite of first maxilla with or without a lateral process. First maxillipeds with a well-developed epipodite and most often with a flagellum on the exopodite. Second maxillipeds with or without an epipodite. Third maxillipeds close together at base; may be terminally chelate; rarely with a rudimentary epipodite; ischium with long, high crista dentata, with or without accessory teeth. Chelipeds nearly always symmetrical; carpus and chela may be modified to form an operculum. Second and third pereiopods long, used for walking. Fourth and fifth pereiopods with more or less well-developed subchelae; propodus with a rasp that may be reduced to only a line of modified setae. Each abdominal segment with a pair of pleopods, most often equal and symmetrical. First and second pleopods of male modified into gonopods. Fourteen pairs of branchial filaments (a pair of pleurobranchs on each of the four last thoracic segments, two pairs of arthrobranchs on third maxillipeds to fourth pereiopods). (After Forest 1987).
Forest, J. 1987. Résultats de campagnes MUSORSTOM. Les Pylochelidae ou `pagures symetriques' (Crustacea Coenobitoidea). Mémoires du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle. Paris 137: 1-254