updated Oct 2016
seen? This enormous crabs is among our favourite seafood.
It is seldom seen and is usually hidden in its burrow in the mangroves.
Sometimes, large individuals are seen in other habitats. These are
likely to be fully grown adults that were taken from seafood markets
and released as part of religious rituals, unfortunately, usually
in unsuitable habitats.
Features: Body width to about
20cm. Body somewhat fan-shaped with 9 spines on the sides but the
last tooth is not enlarged as it is in flower
Mud crabs belong to the same family as swimming crabs and their last
pair of legs are paddle-shaped. But because they are such large, heavy
crabs, they don't use these legs to swim. Instead, the legs are used
like spades to burrow with. Unlike flower crabs, mud crabs are able
to stay out of water for some time. They come in various colours ranging
from dark green (mostly those from mangroves) to bluish green (those
found in open waters).
There are three species of mud crabs found in Singapore.
The Green mud crab (S. paramamosain): body width to about 15cm
with orange and green pincers and very sharp teeth between the eyes.
mud crab (S. olivacea): body width to about 18cm with orange
The Purple mud crab (S. tanquebarica): body width to about
20cm with distinct purple pincers.
The Mud crab we often eat at restaurants are actually from the Giant
mud crab (Scylla serrata) which can grow to about 28cm. These
come from Sri Lanka (thus sometimes also called the Sri Lankan crab).
This crab is not found in Singapore.
What does it eat? This crab is
a predator and will eat any animal that it can catch. It appears to
prefer snails and clams.
uses: These crabs are edible and a favourite dish for many
Singaporeans. They are traditionally caught by hooking them out of
their burrows with long iron rods.
It is better known as Chilli crab!
Chek Jawa, Nov 09
Changi, Jul 07
Tanah Merah, Oct 10
Sentosa, Nov 11
crabs on Singapore shores
Punggol, Jun 12
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.
Pasir Ris Park, Nov 08
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his
Pulau Sekudu, Jun 14
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.
Pulau Tekukor, May 10
Photo shared byGeraldin Lee on her
Pulau Semakau, Dec 08
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on his
Pulau Pawai, Dec 09
- Kelvin K. P. Lim. 3 October 2014. Orange mud-crab at Pasir Ris mangrove, Scylla olivacea. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 270.
- 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.
- 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.