Cardisoma guanhumi, 02 September 2011

Cardisoma guanhumi, the Blue land crab;
Miami-Dade county, Florida (02 September 2011).

The Blue land crab, Cardisoma guanhumi, also generally referred to as the “giant” land crab, is a fascinating crustacean native to Atlantic and Caribbean coastal areas. Its carapace (the central “body” shell) can grow upwards to six inches in width, and the species is quite variable in its coloration. The land crab featured here (photographed in Coral Gables) is particularly vivid. Of note, land crabs are so-named because they spend much of their time on dry land. Similar to fiddler crabs, the Blue land crab digs burrows not too far from water’s edge. The burrows lead down to a secretive pocket at the edge of the water table, effectively a small aquatic habitat beneath dry land. The Blue land crab with then forage about on dry ground for quite some time, only returning to its burrow for shelter or a breathe of water. Because of their ability to traverse land over extended periods of time, you’ll sometimes find wayward Blue land crabs in the unlikeliest of places (such as parking lots, tennis courts, and the edge of highways).

Learn more about Cardisoma guanhumi.

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