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Phylum Arthropoda > Subphylum Crustacea > Class Malacostraca > Order Decapoda > Brachyurans > Family Portunidae
Red swimming crab
Thalamita spinimana
Family Portunidae
updated Dec 2019

Where seen? This bright red swimming crab is commonly seen on many of our shores, especially near reefs and coral rubble. It is particularly active at night. It can be quite fierce and give a good pinch to inquisitive fingers. Don't handle crabs!

Features:
Body width 5-7cm. Body rectangular, the body sides with 5 black-tipped spines, all about equal in size. The eyes are wide apart. Between the eyes are 6 small rounded lobes. Last pair of legs are paddle-shaped often bluish. Body, pincers and walking legs plain bright orange or red, sometimes blue. Some have a chocolate brown body with blue legs. Inner 'elbows' are white.

Sisters Island, Dec 03

Inner 'elbows' white.
Pulau Semakau, Jan 09

Brown crab mating with a red one.
Terumbu Pempang Tengah, May 11

Terumbu Pempang Tengah, May 11
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.
What does it eat? Quite a variety of prey it seems. We have seen them eating a snail, a jellyfish, a heart urchin and even another crab.

Eating a jellyfish.
Pulau Semakau, Dec 04

Eating a snail.
Sisters Island, Sep 10

Eating another crab.
Terumbu Pempang Tengah, May 11

Eating a heart urchin.
Terumbu Pempang Tengah, May 11

Red swimming crabs on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores


East Coast Park, Jul 20
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Terumbu Hantu, Jul 18
Photo shared by Dayna Cheah on facebook.


Terumbu Raya, Mar 16
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.

Terumbu Bemban, Jul 11
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Terumbu Bemban, Jun 17
Photo shared by Abel Yeo on facebook.


Terumbu Berkas, Jan 10

Pulau Sudong, Dec 09

Pulau Berkas, May 10
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on flickr.


Pulau Salu, Aug 10

Pulau Senang, Aug 10

Pulau Biola, May 10


Terumbu Salu, Jan 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr.

Pulau Pawai, Dec 09

Pulau Sudong, Dec 09


Pulau Senang, Aug 10

Pulau Salu, Aug 10

Pulau Pawai, Dec 09

Acknowledgements
Grateful thanks to Crabhunter for identification of some of these crabs.  

Links
References
  • 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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