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Phylum Arthropoda > Subphylum Crustacea > Class Malacostraca > Order Decapoda > Brachyurans > Family Varunidae
Orange signaller crab
Metaplax elegans
Family Varunidae
updated Dec 2019

Where seen? This tiny energetic crab with long orange pincers is found in the back mangroves in very soft mud. Often in large groups near stream banks, digging out burrows to live in.

Features: Body width about 2cm. Body somewhat rectangular, eyes on short eyestalks. Pincers long large, bright orange, about equal sized. Long flattened legs with pointed tips. Males wave their distinctive long orange pincers, and 'bounce' up and down on their legs, to compete for females.

What does it eat?
It feeds mainly on worms, coming of out its burrow at low tide.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Feb 10

Mandai, Feb 13

Mandai, Feb 13

Orange signaller crabs on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Links References
  • 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.
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