A field guide to Kenyan mangroves


Uca lactea annulipes H. Milne Edwards, 1852

Family: Ocypodidae

Zone: A. marina landward Ceriops tagal and mixed zones (Hartnoll, 1975; Gillikin, 2000).

Habitat: Burrowing to about 50 cm depth.

Food: Detritus (Icely and Jones, 1978); but may also feed on dead crabs! See photo below.

Ecological notes: Found primarily higher on the shore but can be found throughout the mangal; can survive in sediments with low organic matter (Gillikin, 2000). Found in a wide range of salinities (Hartnoll, 1975; Vannini and Valmori, 1981; Gillikin, 2000).

Waving display during mating

Distinguishing characteristics: Major claw pink, sometimes nearly white; broad front; strong tuberculate ridge on palm and a smooth external face of the hand with no triangular depression (carapace width about 1.5 cm). Movable finger of claw extends past immobile finger.

Geographical range: Somalia to South Africa, Indonesia and Philippines (Vannini and Valmori, 1981)


Cannicci, S., F. Dahdouh-Guebas and L. Montemagno, 1993. "Field Keys for Kenyan Mangrove Crabs." Museo Zoologico "La Specola", Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e Genetica dell'UniversitÓ Degli Studi di Firenze, Via Romana 17, I-50125 Firenze, Italia.

Gillikin, D.P., 2000. Factors controlling the distribution of Kenyan brachyuran mangrove crabs: Salinity tolerance and ecophysiology of two Kenyan Neosarmatium species. M.Sc. Thesis, Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium.

Hartnoll, R.G., 1975. "The Grapsidae and Ocypodidae (Decapoda: Brachyura) of Tanzania." J. Zool. Lond. 177:305-328.

Icely, JD and DA Jones, 1978. Factors affecting the distribution of the genus Uca (Crustacea: Ocypodidae) on an East African Shore." Estuarine and Coastal Marine Science 6:315-325.

Macnae, W., 1968. "A General Account of the Fauna and Flora of Mangrove Swamps and Forests in the Indo-West-Pacific Region." Advanced Marine Biology 6:73-270.

Vannini, M. and P. Valmori, 1981. Researchers on the coast of Somalia. The shore and the dune of Sar Uanle. 31. Ocypodidae and Gecarcinidae (Crustacea Brachyura). Monitore Zoologico Italiano 14: 199-226.

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

Updated June 24, 2016