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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Spotted Reef Crab Carpilius maculatus

The conspicuous coloring of the spotted reef or coral crab is highly distinctive. Its smooth, light brown carapace has two large red spots behind each eye, three across the middle, and either two or four at the rear. Between the eyes the carapace has four small, rounded projections, which are also characteristic of the species. It is a nocturnal, slow-moving crab that uses its disproportionately large claws to feed on corals, snails, and other small marine creatures.

Spotted Reef Crab habitat mapzoom image
  • Subphylum Crustacea
  • Length About 3 in (9 cm)
  • Habitat Shoreline to 33 ft (10 m), inshore reefs
  • Distribution Indian Ocean and western Pacific