Plagusia chabrus Click to enlarge image
Red Rock Crab, Plagusia chabrus Image: Dr Isobel Bennett
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    chabrus
    Genus
    Plagusia
    Family
    Plagusiidae
    Suborder
    Pleocyemata
    Infraorder
    Brachyura
    Order
    Decapoda
    Superorder
    Eucarida
    Class
    Malacostraca
    Subphylum
    Crustacea
    Phylum
    Arthopoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    10 cm

Introduction

The Red Rock Crab is not only one of the most common crabs in Sydney but also one of the fastest movers. It is often used as bait, particularly to catch grouper.

Identification

The Red Rock Crab is easily recognised by its large size and red colour.

Habitat

Preferring moist environments, the Red Rock Crab is found around the low-tide mark on the rocky shore and underwater to depths of about 8 m. It tends to hide among seaweed and under rock ledges.

Distribution

The Red Rock Crab is found in temperate waters of southern Australia, in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. Also found in New Zealand, South Africa and Chile.

Feeding and diet

The Red Rock Crab feeds on sponges, bryzoans and small seaweeds.