Swift-footed Crab (Leptograpsus variegatus) Click to enlarge image
"This is the Swift-footed Crab, a common encounter along the east coast of Australia in tidal pools and rocky shores. Here it is caught out of its element as it scuttles across the beach." Image: Jonathon Winnel
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    variegatus
    Genus
    Leptograpsus
    Subfamily
    Grapsinae
    Family
    Grapsidae
    Suborder
    Pleocyemata
    Infraorder
    Brachyura
    Order
    Decapoda
    Class
    Malacostraca
    Subphylum
    Crustacea
    Phylum
    Arthopoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    8 cm
  • Habitats
    intertidal

Introduction

The Swift-footed Crab is the most active and prominent crab on Sydney's rocky coast. Scurrying and darting quickly among the rocks, it can be quite difficult to catch.

Identification

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.

Habitat

The Swift-footed Crab lives on intertidal rocky shores.

Distribution

The Swift-footed Crab is found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Also New Zealand and South America.