Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    longicarpus
    Genus
    Mictyris
    Family
    Mictyridae
    Suborder
    Pleocyemata
    Infraorder
    Brachyura
    Order
    Decapoda
    Superorder
    Eucarida
    Subphylum
    Crustacea
    Phylum
    Arthopoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    15-25 mm

Introduction

The Soldier Crab lives in sandy estuaries and mangroves, and occurs in massive groups that seem to emerge from nowhere all at the same time.

Identification

The Soldier Crab is quite distinctive with its small, round, blue body on long jointed legs with purple stripes. As it marches around feeding, it moulds the sand into numerous pellets, sorting through it for organic matter. There is only one other species of soldier crab common in Sydney. This is the smaller Mictyris platycheles.

Habitat

Soldier Crabs live on intertidal mangroves, beaches and estuaries.

Distribution

Soldier Crabs are found from Northern Queensland, New South Wales, to Wilsons Promontory in Victoria. Also, western Indian Ocean to French Polynesia.

Other behaviours and adaptations

It is thought that the spontaneous arrival of Soldier Crabs is triggered by the falling tide. If disturbed, they burrow into the sand with a corkscrew motion, disappearing as quickly as they arrived.