The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Fiddler Crabs The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Fiddler Crabs

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Fiddler Crabs

Fiddler crabs are small crustaceans with a distinctive enlarged claw. They live on beaches, mud flats and marshes throughout the Chesapeake Bay.


Three species of fiddler crabs can be found in the Chesapeake Bay region: the red-jointed fiddler crab, Uca minax, the marsh fiddler crab, Uca pugnax, and the sand fiddler crab, Uca pugilator.

Fiddler crabs vary in color from tan to brown. Sand fiddler crabs are lighter than the other two species. Males have one enlarged claw that can grow to 1.5-2 inches long while females’ claws are equal size. The carapace (shell) is squared with rounded rear edges. The red-jointed fiddler crab’s carapace has a groove behind each eye. Male marsh fiddler crabs have a royal blue spot on the center of the carapace, while male sand fiddler crabs have a blue or purplish carapace. Carapace varies in size from less than an inch wide to 1.5 inches wide. The marsh fiddler crab is the smallest fiddler crab in the Bay region and the red-jointed fiddler crab is the largest. Fiddler crabs have four pairs of walking legs.

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