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Phylum Arthropoda > Subphylum Crustacea > Class Malacostraca > Order Decapoda > Brachyurans > Family Matutidae
Spotted moon crab
Ashtoret lunaris
Family Matutidae
updated Dec 12

Where seen? This spotted moon crab is commonly encountered on our shores. Sandy silty shores, especially near seagrasses. It is more active at night and is rarely seen by daytime visitors as it is then often buried in the sediments. 'Lunaris' in Latin refers to the moon.

Features: Body width 3-8cm. Body rather circular, with a pair of long spikes on the sides. There are six large smooth bumps in the middle of the body, the bumps are sometimes but not always highlighted by body patterns. Colours beige to yellow with little maroon dots evenly sprinkled on the body surface, sometimes highlighting the six bumps. Pincers short, sturdy, held against the body to form a somewhat box-like shape. All walking legs end in paddle-shaped tips and used to skim along the sea bottom and also like spades to rapidly burrow into the sand. Some may have large dark blotches on the paddles, with smaller dark spots on the legs.

Changi, Apr 05

Sisters Island, Oct 06

Six bumps in the middle of the body.
Changi, Jul 07

Changi, Apr 10

Spotted moon crabs on Singapore shores

Photos of Spotted moon crabs for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Punggol, Jan 13
Photos shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Cyrene Reef, Feb 16
Photos shared by Juria Toramae on facebook.

Cyrene Reef, Jun 10
Photos shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr.

Cyrene Reef, May 11
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on flickr.

Cyrene Reef, May 11
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on flickr.

St. John's Island, Jul 09

Photos shared by Geraldine Lee on her blog.

Pulau Semakau South, Jul 15
Photo shared by Jianlin Liu on facebook.

With grateful thanks to Ondrej Radosta for identification help with these crabs..


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