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Phylum Arthropoda > Subphylum Crustacea > Class Malacostraca > Order Decapoda > Brachyurans
Stone crabs
Family Menippidae
updated Dec 2019

Where seen? Stone crabs are commonly seen on our Northern shores, sheltering among stones, coral rubble, rubbish and other hiding places.

Features: Body width 10-12cm, smaller ones also often seen. Large rounded body with large pincers.

The common Stone crab (Myomenippe hardwickii) is identified by
bright green eyes circled with red. The Maroon stone crab (Menippe rumphii) lacks such eyes and is usually plain maroon or red.

Steady crab: When a stone is overturned, other crabs usually madly dash out helter skelter. The stone crab merely tucks its limbs under its body and remains motionless. In this way, predators overlook it as they focus instead on the more nervous crabs.

Sometimes mistaken for Red egg crabs (Atergatis integerrimus), especially Stone crabs that are rather reddish.
Here's more on how to tell apart big crabs with big pincers seen on the rocky shores and coral rubble.

With eggs
Pulau Sekudu, Aug 05

Eating a jellyfish
Beting Bronok, May 06

Some Stone crabs on Singapore shores


Green eyes ringed with red.

Eyes not green.

Family Menippidae recorded for Singapore
from Wee Y.C. and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore

  Family Menippidae
  Menippe rumphii (Maroon stone crab)

Myomenippe hardwickii
(Stone or Thunder crab)

Sphaerozius nitidus


  • 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.
  • 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.
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