A field guide to Kenyan mangroves


Uca vocans (Linnaeus, 1758)

Family: Ocypodidae

Zone: R. mucronata and mixed zones (Gillikin, 2000).

Habitat: Burrowing to about 50 cm depth.

Food: Detritus (Icely and Jones, 1978).

Ecological notes: Found lower on the shore in very muddy, organic sediments; more common in estuarine mangroves; can occur in high numbers (Ruwa, 1997; Gillikin, 2000). Most tolerant of wave action (Hartnoll, 1975).

Distinguishing characteristics: A medium sized, narrow fronted species; dactylus is broad and flat. Major claw yellow-orange (carapace width about 2.5 cm).

Geographical range: From Red Sea to Tanzania, Zanzibar, Madagascar, Indonesia and the central Pacific (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.

Edney, E.B., 1961. "The water and heat relationships of fiddler crabs (Uca spp.)." Trans. roy. Soc. Afr. Vol. XXXVI, part 2, March 1961, p71-91.

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.

See more mangrove books


previous speciesnext species

copulating crabs


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

Updated June 24, 2016