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Mud Crab

Family Xanthidae

A small Mud Crab in the palm of a handMax Size:  <8 cm (carapace width) (3 in)

Habitat: Estuaries and muddy substrates

Diet: Forages for algae, decaying organic matter

Common Species:
White fingered mud crab (Rhithropanopeus harrisii)
Black fingered (or Atlantic) mud crab (Panopeus herbstii)






Fun Facts:

  • Mud crabs are brown to olive green, allowing them to camouflage in their muddy habitat
  • Mud crabs are native to the Atlantic Coast of North America but have been accidentally introduced to over 20 different countries throughout the world
  • They prefer to spend most of their time wedged into safe nooks and crevices, or bury themselves in the mud when not foraging.
  • Even though R. harrisii (white fingered) and P. herbstii (black fingered) may often be distinguished by their claw coloring, it is thought that they may hybridize, making identification difficult