Speckled swimming crab

Arenaeus cribrarius

Family Portunidae - Swimming crabs

Carapace broader than long, compressed; color brown, olive brown to reddish brown with white spots dorsally, yellowish to white underneath, sometimes with white irregular area in center of carapace; claws are long, color brown with white fingers, last pair of legs flattened into paddle-shaped appendages; 9 pair of spines (including the outer orbital spines) along the lateral edges of the carapace, the most posterior pair (the lateral spines) being the longest; 8 low blunt spines between the ocular orbits (including the inner orbit spines), the inner orbit spines bicuspid; spines on the inner margins of merus (arms of claws) and a small spine on inner and outer dorsal carpus (joint of claw).
Similar Species
Color pattern distinguishes the specked crab from other crabs, also the inner orbital spines are bicuspid, and has a spine on the inner carpus vs. outer carpus in other crabs.
Shallow gulf, common in the surf, prefers sandy or muddy bottoms
Maximum Size
12 cm (4 3/4 in) carapace width
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names