2 Fotos - 1 Art

Cardisoma guanhumi

Blue land crab or Great land crab

Size of the carapace 12 cm, but if you add the strong legs and claws, you get the size of a soup plate.

Like all crustaceans, this species also has ten feet, two compound eyes and two claws, whereby the left side of the animal in my photos is much larger and bulkier than the right, which is not the case with all animals of this species, there are also some where it is the other way round.

Great land crab, is the name of this animal, but why Land crab?


This crab lives most of its life on land, it can penetrate several kilometres inland, but as it has no real lungs but modified gills, it avoids heat and dryness and is still dependent on moisture.

During the heat of the day, they like to stay in their self-made burrows. At night they come out to search for food, not caring what they find as long as they can eat it. 

Once a year they need the sea to reproduce. There they lay their eggs, which have been fertilised on land, and are then left to fend for themselves.

The eggs then hatch into crab larvae which, after many moults, return from the sea to land after a few months.

Who knows, maybe this crab I saw on the beach had just gone into the sea to lay her eggs, or maybe she was on her way back. Either way, let's hope her little ones survive, which is not so certain these days as the oceans continue to be destroyed by overheating, over-pollution and over-fishing.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean