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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT Specimens of a porcellanid crab, Petrolisthes myakkensis, new species, occur with abundant asteroids, Heliaster microbrachius Xantus, in the late Pliocene Pinecrest Beds of the Tamiami Formation near El Jobean, Charlotte County, Florida. The crab-asteroid association is preserved in calcareous quartz sandstone with minor amounts of shell hash. The fauna is dominated by the asteroids and crabs, but barnacles are also present. Preservation as whole, articulated, fragile, hollow specimens preserved with articulated sea stars attests to the lack of transport of the crabs. Occurrence of these crabs in close association with the sea stars, the commensal habits of other porcellanid crabs, and the commensal relationships of crabs with echinoderms lead to the conclusion that Petrolisthes myakkensis and Heliaster microbrachius were commensals.


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