Fiddler Crabs| All You Need To Know

Fiddler crabs are tiny crustaceans with large claws. They are found on the beaches, marshes and mudflats throughout the Chesapeake Bay.

Learn more about fiddler crab in this article.

Fiddler crab appearance

Fiddler crabs appearance:

These fiddler crab species are present on the Chesapeake Bay.

  • The red-jointed fiddler crabs
  • The sand fiddler crabs 
  • The marsh fiddler crabs

Fiddler crab have four legs and have different colors from tin to brown. Sand fiddler crabs are slightly different from the other crabs. Male have larger claws; one is bigger than the other and reaches a size about 1.5-2 inches while females have the same length of both claws. The carapace is square shaped and has rounded edges.

The center of the carapace of male marsh fiddler crabs is covered with royal blue spots. The shells change their size from less than an inch to 1.5 inches. The marsh crab is smaller and the red-jointed fiddler crab.

What are the two different types of fiddler crabs?

Excluding mud fiddlers, two other typical fiddler crabs surround the southeastern Atlantic beach. The red-jointed fiddler and the sand fiddlers are the two types of fiddler crabs.


Algae,dead marsh plants and the bacteria are the diet of the fiddler crabs. They eat by sifting through sand and mud for food particles. They mostly eat in water and separate sand and dirt from food.

The females consume their food earlier than the males because females have equal and small sized claws. The mature’s male claws make it difficult to feed food. 

Reproduction and Lifecycle:

Fiddler crabs reproduce every two weeks in the summer. Male crabs dig and defend it for mating, sleeping, and refuge during winter. When the male wants to mate he looks for a female partner. The male stands near their burrow and waves their claws to gain the female’s attention. 

If the female wants to mate she moves towards the males. When the female follows him,the male opens the edge of the burrow with its claws and leads the female inside the burrow. After that he closed the entrance and moved back to female for mating. 

The females store their eggs for two weeks before returning to the surface. The eggs are hatched into the water where they develop into juveniles. Fiddler crabs once a year. In a soft shelled period, fiddler crabs live in their burrows.

The average lifespan of the fiddler crabs is two to three years in captivity. However, better living conditions may enhance the duration.

Fiddler crab's molting

Fiddler crab’s molting:

Molting is an important but stressful task for fiddler crabs. These crabs also have a tough exoskeleton which saves them from predators and other environmental factors. It also limits  its growth. 

When the fiddler crab matures completely, they start to molt and regrow a new exoskeleton. These crabs also molt to remove toxins and regrow lost climbs.

The crabs molt every eight weeks, and the younger crabs can molt more times due to faster growth. The molting of the crabs takes about 15 minutes while the hard shell takes many days. These days, a crab needs a lot of water and calcium to regrow its shell.

Are fiddler crabs good to eat?

These crabs are good and safe to eat. Their taste is similar to the other crab varieties and sweet. Before eating, You should make sure that the crab meat should be cleaned, fresh and completely cooked. 

If you eat crab without cleaning, you may not feel well. These tiny creatures live on the beaches and their diet includes plants and insects. So, it may have harmful parasites that may lead you towards serious illness. 

A well-cooked fiddler crab has delicious taste and is rich in healthful contents. If you like seafood,its unique flavor will not disappoint you.

Is eating fiddler crab nutritious?

As you know that these crabs rotten plants, germs and algae you may think it has no useful healthy contents. But the fact is that the fiddler crabs have many essential nutrients as you would find from other popular seafoods. 

Besides enjoying its delicious taste,you can also get a lot of energy from their meat. It is full of proteins that help to maintain muscles. It is low in fat and gives a sense of fullness and causes weight loss.

When cooked completely, the nutrients inside fiddler crabs will maintain your overall health and provide power against fighting harmful diseases. 

Fiddler crabs care:

The way of care of the crabs is very easy as compared to other crabs species. These creatures adapt well to life styles in captivity and can stay pretty in many situations. These creatures are beautiful and require a certain environment if you want to keep them as pets.

These are some methods of the care of crabs.

  • The good news is that a group of four crabs can live together only in a tank of 10-gallons.  A standard tank and aquarium is well for this purpose.
  • As fiddler crabs live in freshwater, to change their habitat  you should provide them brackish water which is low in salinity and far away from freshwater. 
  • Crabs feel comfortable in the temperature ranges from 75-85 fahrenheit, and pH level is 8.0 to 8.3.  
Fiddler crabs tankmates

Fiddler crab’s tank mates:

These crabs do best in at least two groups  in the tank and if the tank is too large, there should be no issue with them. These crabs are frankable and enjoyable with others.

But for other crabs species you have limited options for their care. In the same tank, the other fishes may not be safe because fiddler crabs catch them for eating. 

If you want to keep fish with these crabs you should adapt useful measures for their safety. Fish requires more than one inch of water to live a healthy life, so you must adjust your tank setup.

Clearly, pet fiddler crabs do best in a single species tank. So before keeping other species with them, make sure that the environment must be comfortable.


These crabs come from Chesapeake Bay all over the world. They are beautiful pets and also are easy to care for. Fiddler crabs are edible. You can choose them for food as you choose other crabs species. As well as properly cooked,they will not harm you.

Their meat is full of nutrients which can maintain your health and save you from chronic diseases.

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