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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Robber Crab Birgus latro

The robber crab, or coconut crab, is the largest terrestrial arthropod. An anomuran, like the hermit and porcelain crabs, it has evolved to look similar to brachyurans, the group to which most other crabs belong, but differs in having long antennae and only three pairs of walking legs instead of four. It lives on oceanic islands and offshore inlets. It scavenges but will also eat fruit and can even smash into coconuts using its powerful claws. Adults live and mate on land, but females release their eggs into water.

Robber Crabzoom image
  • Subphylum Crustacea
  • Length Up to 24 in (60 cm) across
  • Habitat Rock crevices and sandy burrows
  • Distribution Tropical waters of Indian and Pacific oceans
Robber Crab habitat mapzoom image