In a pen shell, that is! Museum friend and collaborator Amy Tripp from Marco Island took this great photo of a pinnotherid crab (arrow) inside a pen shell (probably a Stiff Pen Shell, Atrina rigida). Pinnotherids are tiny, soft-bodied crabs that live inside the mantle and gills of some bivalve mollusks (and the occasional large gastropod such as a true conch (family Strombidae) or abalone (Haliotis species). Pinnotherid crabs are commensals, i.e., they take advantage of their hosts' meals or leftovers for their own feeding.
top of page
bottom of page