Image: Swift-footed crab (yellow form)

Swift-footed crab (yellow form)

Swift-footed crab (yellow form)

Roxanne Bailey
© Roxanne Bailey
Perth, Western Australia
Date taken:
20 September 2010


The Swift-footed Crab's colour varies, although it is usually a dark olive-green or dark purple with lighter flecks on the upper surface. The large front claws are purple and white. This image shows the yellow form.

Swift-footed Shore Crabs are an active, fast moving crab that occurs abundantly on rock platforms.They often hide in crevices during the day and emerge at night to forage for food.  They are members of the Decapod crab group. Decapod means ten limbs, where there are eight walking or swimming legs and two feeding claws called chelae.
This species is harvested intensively along the NSW coast for use as fish bait.


Additional information

Crabs are the most diverse of all crustaceans in both shape and size. Considered to have first appeared in the Jurassic (144-213 million years ago), the world fauna is now known to consist of around 7000 species, of which nearly 1000 are known from Australia. The majority of crabs live in shallow water marine environments, but others occupy a huge variety of habitats ranging from deep-sea hydrothermal vents to tropical rainforest, freshwater and even desert.

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