Fiddler Crab

Creature Feature – Fiddler Crab

This week is the letter ‘F’, and today’s featured creature is the Fiddler Crab. 

The term fiddler crab refers to around 100 species and subspecies of crabs from the genus Uca. They are named “fiddler” because the male holds one claw, always much larger than the other

Fiddler crab

Taxonomy

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Order: Decapoda

Suborder: Pleocyemata

Family: Ocypodidae

Fiddler Crab Fact File

? Size: Individuals can reach up to 5cm in length and weight up to 1.8g

? Distribution: They can be found, often occurring in large numbers, on beaches in temperate to tropical regions of the world. Unlike land hermit crabs, fiddler crabs spend a lot of their time in water

? Diet: Residing in in water-covered burrows, this species are scavengers that eat bits of algae and organic matter they find in the sand and mud

? Behaviour: The male’s enlarged major claw is not for fighting predators, but primarily to attract a mate and discourage rivals. If a male loses its major claw, the remaining claw grows to the same size as the lost claw with the new claw that grows becoming the smaller claw

? IUCN Status: Not Evaluated. Though not considered endangered, fiddler crabs are a vital part of the coastal food chain. There are many examples of unexpected and unanticipated benefits obtained from even the most common species