Coral-dwelling gall crabs (Cryptochiridae) are obligate symbionts of stony corals and occur on shallow and deep reefs across the tropical belt. The circumtropical genus Opecarcinus associates with Agariciidae corals, a dominant component of Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems (MCEs). Here, we report the first Red Sea mesophotic record, with 89 m as the deepest record to date, for Opecarcinus—collected from Leptoseris cf mycetoseroides—from the NEOM marine area in Saudi Arabia. This observation reconfirms the depth range flexibility of Opecarcinus species and highlights the need for further mesophotic explorations of reef-associated fauna.
Saudi Arabia - Red Sea
Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)