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Squat lobsters of the superfamilies Chirostyloidea and Galatheoidea are highly visible crustaceans on seamounts, continental margins, shelf environments, hydrothermal vents and coral reefs. About 1000 species are known. They frequently feature in deep-sea images taken by submersibles and are caught in large numbers by benthic dredges. Some species are so locally abundant that they form 'red tides'. Others support a variety of important fisheries.
The taxonomy of squat lobsters has been intensively studied over the past few decades, making them one of the best known deepwater crustacean groups. As a result, they have attracted the attention of deep-sea ecologists who use them as proxies to test hypotheses about deepwater ecological processes and biogeography. Interest in squat lobsters now extends much more widely than the taxonomic research community and this work is a timely synthesis of what is known about these animals. The Biology of Squat Lobsters provides keys for identification and reviews the current state of knowledge of the taxonomy, evolution, life history, distribution, ecology and fisheries of squat lobsters.
A striking feature of squat lobsters is their vivid coloration, which is revealed in a selection of spectacular images of different species.
Gary C.B. Poore, Shane T. Ahyong and Joanne Taylor
List of contributors
Morphology of marine squat lobsters
Keiji Baba, Shane T. Ahyong and Enrique Macpherson
Taxonomy of squat lobsters
Enrique Macpherson and Keiji Baba
Phylogeny and fossil record of the marine squat lobsters
Shane T. Ahyong, Kareen E. Schnabel and Enrique Macpherson
Developmental biology of squat lobsters
Keiji Baba, Yoshihisa Fujita, Ingo S. Wehrtmann and Gerhard Scholtz
World-wide distribution patterns of squat lobsters
Kareen E. Schnabel, Patricia Cabezas, Anna McCallum, Enrique Macpherson,
Shane T. Ahyong and Keiji Baba
Ecology, physiology, feeding and trophic role of squat lobsters
Gustavo A. Lovrich and Martin Thiel
Agonistic behaviour and reproductive biology of squat lobsters
Martin Thiel and Gustavo A. Lovrich
Squat lobsters as symbionts and in chemo-autotrophic environments
J. Antonio Baeza
Parasites and other symbionts of squat lobsters
Christopher B. Boyko and Jason D. Williams
Squat lobster fisheries
Ingo S. Wehrtmann and Enzo Acuña
Gary C. B. Poore is Principal Curator Emeritus (Marine Biology) at Museum Victoria. He investigates the diversity and systematics of marine crustaceans and promotes the importance of taxonomic understanding in ecology, biogeography and management. He is a past-President of The Crustacean Society, member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Census of Marine Life, Continental Margins and Ecosystems (COMARGE) project and member of the Steering Committee, World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS). He is the author of Marine Decapod Crustacea of Southern Australia: A Guide to Identification and numerous taxonomic and ecological papers on Crustacea. He received The Crustacean Society Excellence in Research Award in 2010. He is Coordinator to the Census of Marine Life (COMARGE) squat lobster project.
Shane T. Ahyong is a Research Scientist at the Australian Museum. Prior to joining the Australian Museum in 2010, he was manager of the Marine Biodiversity and Biosecurity Group and the Marine Invasives Taxonomic Service at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Wellington, New Zealand (NIWA). He has published widely on the systematics and phylogeny of marine crustaceans worldwide, with a particular focus on Decapoda and Stomatopoda. He has served on the Board of The Crustacean Society and is a contributing editor to the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS). Ongoing research interests include invertebrate systematics, phylogenetic methods integrating morphological and molecular data, comparative morphology and biological invasions.
Joanne Taylor is the Comarge Research Fellow at Museum Victoria. In this role she has developed online interactive identification guides to the world’s species of squat lobsters and published on the Family Munidopsidae in the Australian region. Prior to this appointment, she has managed the Marine Invertebrate Collections at Museum Victoria since 2001 thus supporting the research activities of a wide network of local and international colleagues. She has published on the Australian fauna of the amphipod family Phoxocephalidae, and caridean family Crangonidae. She is the current Indo-Pacific Governor of The Crustacean Society.
"It's a beautifully produced, comprehensive account of a fascinating group of animals."
– Explore, Vol 34 (4), Summer 2012
"The editors of this volume, Gary Poore, Shane Ahyong and Joanne Taylor, have done an outstanding job in bringing together so much information from so many authors. It’s an excellent book, and should be in all university and museum libraries, and on the bookshelves of everyone interested in decapods crustaceans."
– Peter J.F. Davie, AMSA Bulletin 187, Issue 1, p.26, 2012