Marine Biology

Crab Profile Rainbow Crab

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Rainbow Crabs are extremely bright and colorful animals that many people see as making ideal pets.  The crabs usually have a bright blue/violet carapace and red/orange legs.  The animals are brightest in their youth as you tend to find that the colors can start to fade as they get older.  The Rainbow Crab has been known to reach 20cm across it’s carapace, as you can imagine with legs and claws included this can make for a very large crab.

The Rainbow Crab is found on the western coast of Africa and often can be found inland on river banks.  These crabs are also found on many of the islands just of the main coast of west Africa.  The males are usually found on dry land whereas the females go out into the water to lay their eggs.  They have a life span of around 3 years and it is unusual for them to live any longer than this. 

Although these are often kept as pets they do come with quite a temper.  Many people know these as soap dish crabs due to the fact that they are often stored in soap dishes when being transported from the wild to pet stores.  Rainbow Crabs will not hesitate to attack another crab and the winner will eat the loser, hence the reason why placed in soap dishes.  As you can see these are very aggressive animals that should be treated with care and respect if having as a pet.

When it comes to what the Rainbow Crab will eat, they do not seem to be overly fussy.  These are often seen eating vegetation ,fruits, smaller crabs and anything else that may wash up on the sea shore.  If you are looking for these in the wild they are often found burrowing into the mud or sand, their bright colors do usually make them easy to spot.  One of the most popular places for seeing these crabs is Nigeria. 

If you are thinking about keeping a Rainbow Crab as a pet then you need to be aware of the fact that you will need a large tank to house these.  The crabs like to burrow and hide away and they also need water to move around in.  It is recommended that you keep these in large tanks with plenty of stones, sand and other objects in.  You can keep these at a pretty standard room temperature.

Rainbow Crabs really are a beautiful example of the stunning variations we have in the natural world.  Although they are bright and colorful they do not always make ideal pets so give serious thought before you consider buying one of these.  In the wild they look wonderful and colorful and light up any beach they may be found on. 

Much of this information can be found here.

More about this author: Andy Orrell

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