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Uca mjoebergi (Family Ocypodidae)

Canary-yellow Clawed Fiddler Crab


The Canary-yellow Clawed Fiddler Crab has a tropical north-west Australian distribution. It ranges from Carnarvon, WA, across NT to Gove (WA, NT).


The Canary-yellow Clawed Fiddler Crab is a fiddler crab that is found high on sheltered sandy mud shores from north-western Australia. Its body is deep, with its carapace being wider than long. The front is broad. The males major chelae fingers do not have long median grooves. The upper moveable finger of the chelae is longer and overlaps the lower immoveable finger. Felt pile occurs in the claw gape. The male carapace feels smooth, but looks microscopically granular. The female's carapace both looks and feels microscopically granular. It has fairly thick eyestalks that are grey-brown in colour. The major cheliped of a male crab is distinctively coloured with canary yellow. Its carapace is grey-brown with some white mottling. Its legs are grey with brown and white speckling, occasionally banded. The front surface of a male's walking legs is orange in colour.

Ecology/Way of Life:

The Canary-yellow Clawed Fiddler Crab occurs on sand to sandy mud shores on the landward side of mangroves in sheltered estuaries, bays and river entrances.

Interaction with Humans/Threats:

The Canary-yellow Clawed Fiddler Crab has a fairly restricted distribution limited to north-western Australia. Because most of this region is sparsely populated, it is probably not under threat from human intervention.

Other Comments:

Uca mjoebergi. Rathbun, 1924. This species was first described Gelasimus sp. unnamed, by Saville-Kent in 1897 from a specimen collected at Broome. Rathbun collected the type at Cape Boileau, near Broome in 1924.

Further Reading:

Davey, K. (1998) A Photographic Guide to Seashore Life of Australia. p.66, New Holland Press, Sydney.

George, R. W. & Jones, D, S. (1982) A Revision of the Fiddler Crabs of Australia (Ocypodinae: Uca), Records of the Western Australian Museum. Supp. No. 14. p.82.

Jones, D. & Morgan, G. (1994). A Field Guide to Crustaceans of Australian waters. p. 199, Reed.

Von Hagen, H. O., and Jones, D. S. (1989) The Fiddler Crabs (Ocypodidae: Uca) of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. Beagle, 6(1) 55-68.


Text, map & photograph by Keith Davey.

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