Sand Crab| All You Need To Know

Sand crab is very charming creature, and the fantastic thing about them is that they move backward. They cannot walk forward and do not have claws characteristics like other carbs.

Sand crabs have a body structure in the shape of a barrel. They have rigid exoskeletons, but it does not create a problem in hunting other species.

Surviving the sand crabs depends upon camouflage and their capability to roll with the current. These crabs search for detritus and plankton by using their antennae.

The male sand crabs are smaller as compared to females. They are tiny, and their carapace is between 0.3 and 1.5 inches long.

Sand crabs are not harmful to humans but entertaining to notice as they move around with the tides.

This article will cover “Sand crabs” and its amazing facts, so keep reading it.

Sand crab scientific name:

Sand crab is a general term for a class of crustaceans that burrow under the sand. In comparison, some closely related families are mentioned as sand crabs. 

However, sand crabs are not considered as “true” as the blue crab and the snow crab because there are many differences between sand crabs and other crab species.

Sand crabs appearance

Sand crabs appearance:

Almost all crabs are barrel-shaped, with a hard skeleton, Pointy legs, a sharp tail, and many pairs of antennae.

Their grey-colored body structure keeps them balanced and shifting under the sand. Unlike other crabs, sand crabs do not have claws on the first pair of legs and are incapable of pinching and grasping anything.

Sand crabs are not giant animals; they are tiny creatures. Male sand crabs are only one inch long, and females are up to 2 inches long. In some species, male crabs attach to the legs of the female.

Sand crabs behavior:

Sand crabs spend a lot of time under the sand, and only their eyes and antennae are visible. If anything disturbs them, they prefer to move toward water by beating their back legs to move around.

Unlike other crustaceans, they cannot move towards any track, only backward. At the same time, a lot of sand crabs can be found on the beach except during the reproductive season.

One of the surprising things about sand crabs is that their tail has sensory neurons in the animal kingdom.

What does the sand crab eat?

The sand crab eats plankton and dinoflagellates. These crabs are tiny creatures, almost seen by the microscope, that move across the water and are eaten by other animals.

The sand crabs motion their second antennae to see the prey in the water. This type of action happens quickly, so it takes time to see.

Sand crab habitat:

Sand crabs live along beaches and dunes all over the world. Their habitat is the Atlantic coast of Africa, Australia, The Indo-Pacific region, and both coasts of the United state.

These creatures present and feed in an area known as the swash zone. This is the small area of the beach where the waves break and lap against the shore. The crabs pick up and move as the swash zone moves across the beach.

Sand crabs reproduction and lifespan

Sand crabs Reproduction and Lifespan:

Sand crabs usually reproduce in the spring and summer. These crabs can produce a large number of young each year. 

When a female sand crab mates, she lays almost 45,000 eggs and carries them in her abdomen. Eggs hatch in one month; after that, they do not receive parental care.

These crabs Pass through different immature phases. Each phase is separated by a molt, During which larvae shed their skeleton and regrow it.

The larvae look different From the mature stage. It looks like small swimming creatures. Relying on the water temperature, the crabs reach their sexual maturity after a year. They only produce for a short time. 

The average lifespan is about two to three years.

Sand crab predators and threat:

Besides the immense danger posed, humans are a significant threat to sand crabs. The disturbance and loss of habitat are due to coastal development. This can stop them from quickly burrowing under the sand.

However, they are present in a considerable amount. So the threat of extinction of this species has disappeared.

Sand crab population:

The population of sand crabs is huge and distributed all around the world. The IUCN red list does not identify the conservation status of crabs species. There are no facts about their population.

Can you eat sand crabs?

Yes, you can eat sand crabs, but you should know that their bodies may collect toxins while passing through the beaches. This may prove poison for humans.

Before making it, clean carefully, break off the tail, and clean sand or dust. It is not much different from a typical crab. There are many cooking methods, but deep-frying sand crabs is the best and can enhance the taste. You can cook them by boiling them in hot water.

How can you catch sand crabs

How can you catch sand crabs?

To expose sand crabs, you can understand that all the crabs live on the beaches. So you can identify and find them easily on the beaches. A simple method is to drag a net over the surface to catch them. 

Soft-shelled crabs are better to catch than hard-shelled crabs. Females are superior to males. You can identify the sexes by size; females are more significant than males.

Can you keep sand crabs as pets?

It is not easy to keep a sand crab as a pet because their way of feeding and habitat is different. So you can not give them a comfortable environment.

If you want to keep a crab, you should prefer a hermit crab because their care is effortless.


These crabs are related to Anomura crabs, but this is not true because their body structure is very distinct from other crabs.

To keep them, you must provide them with a peaceful environment. Add a lot of sand in water and their particular diet.

They are not dangerous and have no claws, so they cannot bite and pinch humans.

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