seen? These crabs as pale and circular as a full moon are
commonly encountered on our Northern shores. They are more active
at night and are rarely seen by daytime visitors as they are then
often buried in the sediments.
Body circular with a
pair of long spikes on the sides. Their pincers fit against the body
to form a somewhat box-like shape. All their walking legs are modified
into paddles. Rather than for swimming, the paddle-shaped legs are
more efficiently used as ‘spades’ to dig and bury itself. With eight
little spades rotating rapidly, the crab disappears into the sand
in an eyeblink. The large sturdy pincers grab any edible bits that
the crab can handle.
What do they eat? They eat worms,
clams and other small animals, foraging more actively at night. A
juicy dead fish, however, may lure them out of hiding even during
uses: These crabs are eaten in some other countries.
and threats: Our moon crabs are not listed among the threatened
animals of Singapore.
However, like other creatures of the intertidal zone, they are affected
by human activities such as reclamation and pollution.
by careless visitors also have an impact on local populations.
All the legs of the Moon crab
are flattened into paddles.
Changi May, 05
over a recently dead fish.
Merah, Jul 10
huge dead crab, bliss!
one eating an injured worm.
Chek Jawa, Feb 02
in an eye blink.
crabs on Singapore shores
Matutidae recorded for Singapore
Wee Y.C. and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity
*Tan, Leo W. H. & Ng, Peter K. L., 1988, A Guide to Seashore
**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.
+added from our observation
- 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).
- Lim, S.,
P. Ng, L. Tan, & W. Y. Chin, 1994. Rhythm of the Sea: The Life
and Times of Labrador Beach. Division of Biology, School of
Science, Nanyang Technological University & Department of Zoology,
the National University of Singapore. 160 pp.
- Wee Y.C.
and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore.
National Council on the Environment. 163pp.
- Ng, P. K.
L. & Y. C. Wee, 1994. The
Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened Plants and Animals of Singapore.
The Nature Society (Singapore), Singapore. 343 pp.
- Jones Diana
S. and Gary J. Morgan, 2002. A Field Guide to Crustaceans of
Australian Waters. Reed New Holland. 224 pp.