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Emerald Crab - Mithrax sculptus -  Also known as Green Crab, Green cling Crab or Green Coral Crab.

Abundance  Emerald Crabs are very abundant within their specific habitat. As many as 24 individuals might be found within an area of  9 square feet or so [the size of a typical 120 gallon tank] when found within very good habitat

Availability  Always in stock.

Behavior  In the wild The Emerald Crab stays hidden within the recesses of the rubble upon where it resides during the daytime and ventures out in the evening to forage upon various types of algae. Within a reef aquarium environment the Emerald Crab quickly becomes adapted to the aquarium and will venture out more often to forage upon algae.

Description  Green carapace with rough texture. Legs are generally hairy although specimens found inshore seem to have legs that are less hairy.  Claws have a smooth texture.

Habitat  The Emerald Crab is most commonly found in rubble zones from a depth of less than a foot to about 8 or 10 feet of water.  This species will generally occupy small crevices within rocks and live on the underside of coral rubble. The craggy texture of the Emerald Crab probably lends itself very well to the crabs defense.  Another advantage that the Emerald Crab possesses is the ability to cling to the rubble it inhabits during rough weather. Emerald Crabs are sometimes found {although not as commonly} living in association with Condylactus Anemones.

Size  Grows to about 1.5 inches.

Discussion  The Emerald Crab is a very interesting animal due to the fact that it can reside within areas of the ocean that many other invertebrates have trouble tolerating for one reason or another. In the wild we see these crabs tolerate water temperatures within the outer range of their habitat from well into the nineties to as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit. They can survive within very heavy surge zones due to the clinging ability. Like so many Invertebrate species the success of the Emerald Crab is dependant upon the condition of the marine habitat. It is an extremely common species and will continue to thrive within a healthy environment.

Aquarium Discussion  The Emerald Crab does very well within a Reef Aquarium. It gets along well with other tank mates, seems to be totally herbivorous, and is well known for the consumption of bubble algae. Some Coral Farmers maintain an Emerald Crab tank in order to remove encroaching algae from around hard Corals.  Some items that share similar habitat in the wild with Emerald Crabs include: Sea Cucumbers, an assortment of Brittle Stars and Serpent Stars including the Harlequin Serpent, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, Porcelain Crabs, Astrae Snail, and Cerith Snails.

Emerald Crab
Price: $3.00 Each

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Copyright Pete Kehoe 2015