A field guide to Kenyan mangroves

species list


Macrophthalmus spp.

Family: Ocypodidae


Zone: Tidal flats in front of mangroves.

Habitat: Burrowing in tidal flats.

Food: Sediment organic matter (Richmond, 1997)

Ecological notes: Richmond (1997) lists five species of Macrophthalmus in East Africa: M. depressus (all images on this page are of M. depressus), M. grandidieri, M. boscii, M. latreillei and M. milloti with the first two being more associated with mangroves (Richmond, 1997; pers obs).

Notice the burrow just to the right of the crab

Distinguishing characteristics: Carapace broader than long. M. depressus has three lateral teeth on carapace, the last being very small; inner palm covered with thick hair (Richmond, 1997). M. grandidieri can most easily be recognized by its strangely shaped claws.

Geographical range: West Indian Ocean (Richmond, 1997)


Richmond, M.D., 1997. A guide to the Seashores of Eastern Africa and the Western Indian Ocean Islands. Sida / Department for Research Cooperation, SAREC. Zanzibar, Tanzania. 448 pp.

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all text and photographs copyrightę 2002-2016 David Gillikin and Anouk Verheyden
Created 28 August 2001

Updated June 24, 2016