Caridina malanda, author: Choy, Satish
Carcinus aestuarii, author: Pillon, Roberto
Troglocaris (Xiphocaridinella) jusbaschjani
author: Don Tuma

DecaNet (World List of Decapoda)


Decapod crustaceans are familiar to anybody who has ever visited the seashore as a kid or adult, with crabs and shrimps being abundant in rock pools and on beaches. They are however, much more widespread than seashores, and a variety of species live in the deepest ocean trenches, on deep-sea vents, on coral reefs, and in freshwater environments, such as lakes, rivers and in underground caves. They have also colonised land, with some species of living far inland and even up trees in tropical rain forests.

Decapods range in size from barely a cm in length, such as the freshwater shrimp Caridella minuta from Lake Tanganyika and the tiny Asian freshwater crabs of the family Hymenosomatidae to the Giant Japanese Spider Crab, Macrocheira kaempferi with a leg span of nearly 4 metres. Other notable giants are the largest terrestrial arthropod, the Coconut Robber, Birgus latro and the largest freshwater invertebrate, the Giant Tasmanian Crayfish, Astacopsis gouldi.

The order Decapoda is species rich and currently comprises 17 547 species recent species which are divided amongst the major groups as follows:

Content and structure of the database

DecaNet aims to be an authoritative listing of all currently accepted species and genera of decapods, both recent and fossil. For all entries, information is provided on the original name spellings, any synonyms and a link to the relevant literature. Additionally, for a growing number of taxa, information is provided on their habitat (and a wider range of traits if applicable) and their distribution.

The higher level classification of DecaNet largely follows the classification, outlined in De Grave et al. (2009), with updates as needed. Much of the information is based on earlier printed nomenclators, such as Ng et al. (2008) for Brachyura, Baba et al. (2008) for squat lobsters and their relatives, Chan (2010) for lobsters, Boyko & McLaughlin (2010) for Hippoidae, McLaughlin et al. (2010a, b) for Paguroidea and Aeglidae, Osawa & McLaughlin (2010) for Porcellanidae, De Grave & Fransen (2011) for the shrimp and Crandall & De Grave (2017) for Astacidea. Of course, changes are continuously published upon and incorporated.

Editorial Team

Co-ordinating Editor

Editorial Board


The editors welcome input from visitors to this website who detect errors or omissions. We strive to maintain the website as both a comprehensive and an up-to-date resource and aim to update the database regularly and frequently.

The data in DecaNet are edited and updated by volunteer experts, assisted by the database management team at VLIZ.

Authors are encouraged to send copies of publications to the respective editor or coordinating editor with details of new or revised nomenclature.



Usage of data from the DecaNet in scientific publications should be acknowledged by citing as follows:

  • DecaNet eds. (2024). DecaNet. Accessed at on 2024-07-22. doi:10.14284/600
If the data from the DecaNet constitute a substantial proportion of the records used in analyses, the chief editor(s) of the database should be contacted. There may be additional data which may prove valuable to such analyses.

Individual pages are individually authored and dated. These can be cited separately: the proper citation is provided at the bottom of each page.