Ultrastructure of the mouthparts and food habits of the Grapsid crab, Metopograpsus messor (Forskal, 1775) from different habitats of the Egyptian Red Sea Coasts.

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Al-Azhar University, Assiut Branch, Egypt.

2 Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt.


Like all other decapods, the grapsid crab, Metopograpsus messor has mouth parts composed of six pairs of modified appendages. The present study revealed the structural significance of this complexity and the feeding habits of this species.  Scanning electron microscope was used for examination of the mouth parts of the specimens collected from two different habitats. No differences were found neither in the structure of mouth parts nor in food analyses. The feeding habits showed that M. messor is opportunistic omnivore feeding on a wide variety of benthic organisms including algae, epifaunal animals as well as dead fish and other decayed animals in addition to higher plants particularly decomposed sea grass leaves and mangrove.