Shameface Crabs

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Calappa spp. - Weber, 1795
Shameface Crabs

These burrowing crabs prey on snails with their large flattened claws. Scott W. Michael

[edit] Overview

Calappa species are easily identified by the large, flattened claws that are held in front. These make them appear as though they are hiding behind the claws in “shame”—hence the common name. They prey on snails—their claws are very well designed for the destruction of snail shells. One claw holds the shell and the other is used to open it like an old-fashioned can opener. They also use their claws to bury themselves and may disappear into a deep sand bed with surprising rapidity.

Family: Calappidae

Other common name(s):

  • Box Crabs

Native range:

Maximum length: 30 cm (12 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 380 L (100 gal)

Lighting: Immaterial.

Water: Marine 24 °C (297 K, 75 °F) - 28 °C (301 K, 82 °F)

[edit] Feeding

Predatory on snails; must be fed live large snails.

[edit] Aquarium Compatibility

Not reef aquarium animals, but will do well in a species tank devoted to them.

[edit] Special Care

They must be provided with a deep sand bed, as most species live on or bury into sand.

[edit] Notes

Given the mechanical advantage inherent in their claws, it is best if the aquarist takes care not to be grabbed by them.

Reference: A PocketExpert Guide to Marine Invertebrates
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: RLS
Facts about Shameface CrabsRDF feed
Common name Shameface Crabs  +, and Box Crabs  +
Family Calappidae  +
Genus Calappa  +
Image credit SWM  +
Lighting Immaterial.  +
Maximum length 12 in  +
Minimum aquarium size 100 gal  +
Native range Tropical Seas  +
Reference A PocketExpert Guide to Marine Invertebrates  +
Specific name spp.  +
Text credit RLS  +
Water max temp 301 K (28 °C, 82 °F)  +
Water min temp 297 K (24 °C, 75 °F)  +
Water type Marine  +