© Shem Compion

Common family name


Scientific Name



From 5 mm to 4m.


Oval to rounded carapace with five pairs of legs. The first pair is developed into claws, of which the size differs. The abdomen is shortened and retracted under the thorax. Eyes are on stalks and can’t be retracted. Colouration varies and red, brown, white, orange, black, beige, grey and blue colours occur. Spots and markings also differ.

General Info

Brachyura infra-order is a group of crabs that have no visible tail. Falls under the suborder Pleocyemata (includes crabs, lobsters, crayfish and others). Most move sideways when walking. Hide in holes and crevices on reefs. Fertilised eggs The abdomen by the female and remain stuck to the pleopods (swimming legs) until they are ready to hatch.


Feeds on algae, worms, molluscs, fungi, bacteria and detritus.


Occurs in tropical and semi-tropical areas worldwide in fresh and sea water.

Common Species

Clown crab - Platypodiella spectabilis
Ghost crab - Ocypode ryderi
Pebble crab - Leucosia anatum

© Johan Boshoff