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Hailing from the Phylum Arthropod, Class Crustacea, and Order Decapoda, Crabs are another popular category of animals aquarists prefer for their reef aquariums. Fresh Marine brings to you a wide collection of some very interesting species of Crabs. Prior to skimming through the available varieties, lets look into some fundamental features of Crabs.

Compatibility. Crabs are semi-aggressive towards the other tank mates. Owing to territorial disposition in some species, they may be aggressive towards their own types. A mating pair does well in this case.
  • Habit & Habitat. Crabs exist in loose groups or pairs in the shallow waters of Seas & Oceans across the world, these Nocturnal beings hide mostly in empty Mollusk Shells, alternatively in Rocks and Crevices, with some Crabs even being terrestrial. The Crabs need to go on changing their hiding Shell as they grow.
  • Morphology. Crabs are hardy creatures with flat body. The Head of a Crab is joined with its Thorax. A tiny Tail protrudes out as a slight extension of the reduced Abdomen, with a hard Exoskeleton, called Carapace, completely covering it under the Thorax. The Crabs have one pair of Chelae (Claws) and four pair of legs. Right from a few milimeters, Crabs measure upto gud few meters in size. Crabs have the power of regenerating their legs, in case they lose any.
  • Ideal Marine Aquarium Environment. Crabs grow well in an aquarium with a temperature range of 72-78°F; the Specific Gravity of 1.020-1.025; and the pH level of water within 8.1-8.4. Introduce the Crabs into a Reef-Type Anemones and Clownfish Type Marine Aquarium. To host Crabs you should have a Reef type Marine Aquarium containing Coral, Rock, Sand, and Live Rocks with ample Algal growth on it.
  • Aquarium Feeding. Crabs are Carnivorous and feed upon Plankton, Mollusks, Worms, other Crustaceans, Bacteria, Fungi, and even Detritus.
  • Aquarium Breeding. Crabs breed sexually with male darting its sperms into its female counterpart. Eventually female lays eggs that hatch into Zoea Larva, which convert to better grown form called Megalopa Larva. Megalopa then undergoes Molting to result in a Crab. Aquarium Breeding of Crabs however, does not give very encouraging results. Keep replenishing the Iodine level in water as it assists in Molting process of Crabs.
  • Care. Crabs are easy to maintain and therefore, even the beginners can opt for it.

  • Now let us browse through the different type of Crabs available at Fresh Marine.

    Family – Porcellanidae
  • Anemone Crab (Neopetrolisthes ohshimai). Also known as Porcelain Anemone Crab and Porcelain Crab, these Crabs occur in Brown, White, and Orange colors and grow up to a maximum size of 1”. Anemone Crab has a Symbiotic Relationship with Anemones and its pair lives among the Anemones’ Tentacles. The two Crabs arrange food for Anemones in the exchange of shelter they get from the later. If not Anemone then, these Crabs seek refuge in their own cast out shell. The Carapace of Anemone Crab is generally White in color with beautiful Red or Brown spots on it.

  • Family – Majidae.
  • Decorator Crab (Stenorhynchus species). Also known as Decorator Arrow Crab and Spider Crab, these Crabs are territorial in disposition and occur in mixed, striking shades. These Crabs grow up to a maximum of 6” in size. Decorator Crab sticks algae, rocks, corals, and any other thing that blends well with its environment, thereby imparting a camouflaged look to the Crab. The body structure of these Crabs resembles the shape of an arrow.
  • Arrow Crab (Stenorhynchus seticornis). Also known as Yellowline Arrow Crab and Spider Crab, these Crabs grow up to a maximum of 6” and occur in Golden, Brown, and White colors. The Arrow Crab is triangular in shape with Golden, Brown, or White stripes on it.
  • Decorator Crab (Xenocarcinus species). Also known as Spider Decorator Crab, Coral Crab, and Conical Spider Crab, these Crabs also have similar camouflaging disposition like that of Stenorhynchus species. Decorator Crab grows to a size of around four inches and shares a Symbiotic Relationship with Gorgonians, Hydroids, and Black Corals, especially Wire Corals.
  • Emerald Mythrax Crab (Mithrax sculptus). Also known as Emerald Crab, the Green Crab, the Emerald Crab, and the Green Mithrax Crab, these Crabs growing up to a maximum of 3”, occur in Green color.
  • Porcelain Crab (Neopetrolisthes species). Also known as Anemone Crab and Porcelain Anemone Crab, these Crabs occur in Cream, Tan, and Brown colors with Red spots on their body. Male Porcelain Crabs are larger in size as compared to their Female counterparts that measure less than five centimeters in their body width. The Neopetrolisthes species is actually a type of Lobster that very closely resembles the appearance of a Crab.

  • Family – Diogenidae.
  • Blue Leg Hermit Crab (Phimochirus operculatus). Also known as Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit, Blue Hermit, Rock Hermit, Polka Dotted Hermit, and Equal Handed Hermit Crab, these Crabs grow to a maximum of 1”. As is evident from the name, the five pairs of jointed legs of Phimochirus operculatus are blue in color with a touch of Red, White, and Black colors as well on them.
  • Dwarf Zebra Hermit Crab (Coenobiata species). Also known as Hermit Zebra, Hawaiian Reef Hermit Crab, and Left Handed Hermit Crab, these Crabs are Herbivorous in feeding habit. Growing up to a maximum of 1”, these Crabs occur in Black, White, Orange, and Blue colors. Dwarf Zebra Hermit Crab has long Eye Stalks with their lower half being Blue while the upper half being Orange in color.
  • Hermit Crab - Assorted Crab (Dardanus megistos). Also known as Red Hermit, Scarlet Hermit Crab, Red Reef Hermit Crab, Bernard Hermit, and White Spotted Hermit Crab, these Crabs grow up to a maximum size of 8”. Hermit Crab has Red colored body with Yellow colored Eyestalks.
  • Scarlet Hermit Crab (Paguristes cadenati). Also known as Scarlet Reef Hermit, Red Reef Hermit, Scarlet Leg Hermit Crab, Red Legged Hermit Crab, the Gold Faced Hermit Crab, and Shiraz, these Crabs growing up to a maximum of 1.5”, occur in Bright Red color. The Eyestalks of Scarlet Hermit Crab are Yellow in color.
  • Marshall Island Electric Blue Hermits. Also known as Blue Knuckle Hermit Crab, Electric Leg Hermit Crab, and Halloween Hermit Crab, these Crabs occur in Neon Blue, Orange, and Black colors. The legs of Marshall Island Electric Blue Hermits are Electric Blue in color, patterned with Black bands, while the Antennae are bright Orange in color.

  • Family – Coenobitidae.

  • Mexican Red Leg Hermit Crab (Coenobita species). Also known as Dwarf Red Tip Hermit, Equal-handed Hermit Crab, and Blue-spotted Hermit Crab, these Crabs grow up to a maximum of 1.5”. The Face and the Legs of Mexican Red-Leg Hermit Crab are Red in color. These Crabs prefer cool environment.

  • Family – Grapsidae.

  • Sally Lightfoot Crab (Percnon gibbesi). Also known as Sally Light Foot Crab, Nimble Spray, Short Crab, and Urchin Crab, these Crabs grow up to a maximum of 3” and occur in Brown color. The body and the legs of Sally Lightfoot Crab have Yellow or Orange colored stripes, especially at joints.

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