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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 for free download from wildsingapore flickr
Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

more photos of spotted moon crabs on Singapore shores



  • Ng, Peter K. L. and Daniele Guinot and Peter J. F. Davie, 2008. Systema Brachyurorum: Part 1. An annotated checklist of extant Brachyuran crabs of the world. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. Supplement No. 17, 31 Jan 2008. 286 pp. (Online PDF on the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology website).
  • Jones Diana S. and Gary J. Morgan, 2002. A Field Guide to Crustaceans of Australian Waters. Reed New Holland. 224 pp.
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