Puerto Rican sand crab

Emerita portoricensis

Family Hippidae - Sand crabs

Carapace cylindrical, longer than wide; color grayish to brown, hind legs yellowish; antennae feathery, short, reaching just past eye; legs folded close to body; abdomen elongate, pointed on end, flexed under body; carapace with transverse lines that fade away on both sides (sides smooth with only traces of lines); head with 3 projections (rostrums); ends of 1st legs pointed, no claws.
Similar Species
Mole crabs in the family Albuneidae have scissor-like claws on 1st legs and abdomen is round or heart-shaped (not pointed). The ends of the 1st legs of E. talpoida (Atlantic sand crab) are blunt, not sharply pointed. The lines on the back of E. benedicti (Benedict sand crab) continue onto its sides (fade away in the Puerto Rican sand crab).
Gulf beaches, live in burrows in the intertidal zone and nearshore waters
Maximum Size
2.5 cm (1 in) carapace width
Other Common Names
mole crab
Previous Scientific Names