Pacific Coral Reef Institute

French Polynesian crustaceans reviewed by Prof. Joseph Poupin

A crustacean taxonomy training, funded by the IPCR, was carried out at the Criobe in November 2014. It aimed to update the crustacean collection of the Criobe started in 1984 and to develop reliable carcinological knowledge bases  to the technical Criobe staff.


Joseph Poupin identifying shrimps in the collection room of the Criobe – Moorea


A à C : Some species founded during sampling sessions on Moorea Island : A) Axiopsis serratifrons, B) Daldorfia horrida, C) Periclimenella spinifera. D : Technical staff of the Criobe during training.

The Ecology of French Polynesia decapode and stomatopode crustaceans  has been studied in four PhD thesis at the Criobe:

  • Crustaceans related to algae  (Naim thesis-1980);
  • Crustaceans related to corals (Odinet thesis -1983);
  • Reptantia and Stomatopoda Decapoda (Monteforte thesis-1984);
  • Freshwater fauna (Marquet thesis-1988).

A total of 1 200 species of crustaceans is currently known in French Polynesia, including a large amount of deep-sea species. It is estimated that as many species are still to be discovered.

First goal of the 2014 training was to provide reliable knowledge bases of curstacean taxonomy to the technical Criobe staff. The training consisted of five morning’s courses and half a day in the field.  The Criobe owned 60 species in its museum. The presence of Prof. Poupin, one of the few international experts on coral reef curstaceans,  enabled to double the collection and provide reference samples, allowing for exemple bio-molecular sequencing to be conducted.

Cardisoma carnifex or Tupa in Polinesian

Cardisoma carnifex or Tupa in Polinesian

Prof. Poupin provided a lot of associated documents for participants of the traning (PowerPoint presentations, taxonomy keys, FAO guide). Theses documents are available at the Criobe. Joseph Poupin created also a database to help for the inventory of the crustacean Decapoda and Stomatopoda with special interest for those collected in French overseas territories. CRUSTA database is available at the following adresse :

The training report is available here (in French) and a dedicated web page has been set up to the Criobe Collection on the CRUSTA database :

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