Other common names: Red Land Crab, Bermuda Land Crab (commonly confused with the Moon Crab or Halloween Crab)
Scientific name: Gecarcinus lateralis
The Blackback Land Crab is found near the Atlantic coast from Texas and Florida to south to Venezuela and Guyana, including the Antilles. Adults are mostly found in burrows in fields, throughout marshes, mangroves and of course; sandy beaches. They only return to the ocean for breeding purposes.
Appearance / health:
As suggested by its name, it has a large blackish spot (if seen up close, it’s actually a very dark brownish), which varies in shapes always covers a large part of the back on these crabs. The legs, claws and outer sections of the back can range from red to a red-orange color, some even look more whitish. The length of the crabs body may reach a width of up to 4½ inches.
Behavior / temperament:
They do have claws, so if handling is needed be careful not to get pinched. If it’s possible wear a set of gloves. If handled very lightly, it will not get the urge to pinch, just watch out for those claws. Crabs can be very “crabby.”
1 Adult to a 10 gallon tank, or 2-4 to a 20 gallon tank but anymore than that will result in fighting as it does with most crab species. They can get very territorial.
These crabs need access to both freshwater and brackish water, although some people have kept these perfectly fine without using brackish water. The best type of tank to create for these guys is a half land half water tank, basically resembling a shoreline. They do breathe using gills, so the crabs must remain wet, or the crab will die, however they do need suitable land space to get out of the water when it wants. Water should be changed weekly or more frequently if overly soiled. The smell of these crabs if not cleaned often is atrocious.
Since they are scavengers, they eat a wide variety of foods; any thing from plants to bits of raw fish or other meat. Commercially bought crab diets can also be found in most pet stores.
Sweet little guy, friendly little creature
moist environment, brackish water, sandy beaches
These crabs are very neat but can be a hassle to take care of properly. They need access to brackish water to really live long healthy captive lives. I had my crab, who was already a full grown adult for about 5 or 6 months before it died. I do not know what it died from, whether old age, or something wrong with it's set up. These, among other inverts, are the type of pets that you will never know when something is wrong. They hide all weaknesses until the end.
They are hard to find, not many pet stores carry them. If you do find them, I recommend them even though they aren't very hardy. These crabs are interesting to observe and watch. I handled mine occasionally, while cleaning the tank, and it never once resorted to pinching me. Pretty docile too, if you ask me....
From UpstateNYPets May 26 2009 9:48AM
Sweet little guy
I got Hairy Monwillow on a whim because he was so beautiful. Blackback land crabs don't require a lot of expertise, in my experience, but they do require the basic equipment you would provide for any invertebrate animal.
Hairy was a docile guy and despite being a crab, was quite sociable! Blackback land crabs are herbivorous and Hairy loved broccoli. Once he even decorated himself with a tiny broccoli hat (wish I had a photo of that)! Occasionally they do eat animal matter, but it is not a dietary requirement.
They do require a moist environment - not wet - as their gills must remain moist, otherwise they cannot breathe. Blackback land crabs hail from the Atlantic coast between Texas and Venezuela, dwelling on the sandy beaches there.
I would recommend this friendly little creature as a pet, however, due to the pinching hazard I would not suggest this pet for a small child. When these crabs pinch, they mean business!.
From SleevieNicks Oct 24 2015 9:02PM