Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Flame Box Crab

Calappa flammea


Seen in a sandy bottom between dive sites La Machaca and Reef Scientifico. Calappa is a genus of crabs known commonly as box crabs or shame-faced crabs. The name box crab comes from their distinctly bulky carapace, and the name shame-faced is from anthropomorphising the way the crab's chelae (claws) fold up and cover its face, as if it were hiding its face in shame. The carapace of this crab is rounded in front, almost straight behind. The hind margins form a thin roof over the legs, partially covering them. The large claws are flattened, triangular, with a crest above, and the fingers are strongly bent downwards. The color is grayish with markings of purplish-brown on the carapace and bandings on the legs. Size: carapace up to 10 cm. wide.


Habitat: This crab inhabits sandy bottoms Depth: ranges from 1 m down to 15 m. Distribution: Common all throughout the Caribbean.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID


The MnMs
The MnMs 3 years ago

Thanks here too! 😊

AshleyT 3 years ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

The MnMs
The MnMs 4 years ago

Thanks for the comments :-)

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 4 years ago


Neil Ross
Neil Ross 4 years ago

Wow! Amazing! Thanks for sharing, Marta. Great info too.

Christine Y.
Christine Y. 4 years ago

Haha, love the moniker " shame-faced crab". It really suits.

The MnMs
The MnMs 4 years ago

Haha! Yes, it really looks like it has its hands in its mouth like saying "Oh, Oh!"

Ava T-B
Ava T-B 4 years ago

Wow! Thanks for the description of shame-faced! I see it once you mention it.

The MnMs
Spotted by
The MnMs

Bonaire, Caribisch Nederland, Netherlands

Spotted on Sep 14, 2017
Submitted on Dec 30, 2017

Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team