Blackback Land Crab

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Other common names: Red Land Crab, Bermuda Land Crab (commonly confused with the Moon Crab or Halloween Crab)

Scientific name: Gecarcinus lateralis

The basics:
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


small child


moist environment, brackish water, sandy beaches

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