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The giant land crab is the largest of Florida's semi-terrestrial crabs. This animal can measure up to 6in (15cm) across its carapace. In its juvenile form, the crab is a dark brown, purple, or orange in color. As an adult, it is a bluish-gray color. Females sometimes appear light gray or white. One claw is larger than the other and the walking legs are sparsely hairy. (Ref: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw013)
As adults, land crabs are terrestrial (land-dwelling) and are found as far as 5 miles from the shoreline, returning to the sea only to drink or breed. They live in burrows several feet deep or at least to a level that will allow water to seep in for moisture. Giant land crabs are primarily vegetarians, preferring tender leaves, fruits, berries, flowers and some vegetables. Occasionally they will eat beetles or other large insects. (Ref: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw013)
I brought the pictures of this crab here to be identified, as my friends had been given him at an epidemiological show years ago, but never knew what it was. It spent it's life in a damp viv, indoors, in Croydon, UK. As you can see from the pictures, I don't think it reached it's full size.
Spotted on Jul 8, 2010
Submitted on Jul 8, 2014