A field guide to Kenyan mangroves

species list


Ocypode ceratophthalmus (Pallas)

Family: Ocypodidae


Zone: Sand flats in front of mangroves, but can also occur on sandy beaches.

Habitat: Sandy beaches and sand flats in front of mangroves (see also Burggren and McMahon, 1988).

Food: Omnivorous

Ecological notes: Much less common than O. ryderi. Just after the tide has gone out, these crabs start to maintan their burrows or dig new ones. They can be seen carrying sand to about 50-100 cm away from their burrow entrance, then throwing it as far as they can.

Attempts to occupy another crabs' burrow are frequently made and usually results in agressive fighting, which lasts only a few seconds (see below).

Distinguishing characteristics: long eyestalks on top of their eyes.

Geographical range: Indo-Pacific (Richmond, 1997)


Burggren, W.W. and B.R. McMahon, 1988 (eds.) Biology of the Land Crabs Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, UK. Pp 186-210.

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