3-03-2021, 14:41
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Cardisoma carnifex

The Cardisoma carnifex or Thai land crab, Chicken crab, Hairy Legged Mountain Crab is naturally found on the east coast of Africa, Indo-Pacific, Australia and around the Red Sea. It is a land crab that lives in a burrow it digs near a body of water.

The body of Cardisoma carnifex is light brown to orange-brown, sometimes bluish in colour. The legs are brown to brown-orange with bright orange claws. Claws have a gradient of colour from orange to white, and some have purple markings. Crabs can reach an impressive age of over a decade, even in captivity. Crabs in the wild reach up to 15 cm in size.

Cardisoma carnifex leads a crepuscular lifestyle. During the day, the crabs hide in their burrows. They are quite aggressive and must be kept singly in an aquaterrarium, which needs to be at least 1/3 of the total area.

Cardisoma carnifex

An aquaterrarium with a length of 120 cm and a water level of 10-15 cm is suitable for keeping crabs. Above the water, a bank area should be constructed with large rocks with chinks between them in which the crab can hide. Sand or coral pebbles with a layer of 15 cm or more are used as substrate. Keep in mind that the crab is constantly digging in the ground, which may lead to slumping, so the shoreline area should be restricted. Plants do not need to be planted as they will all be eaten sooner or later.

Smaller fish, e.g. Guppy Golden Endler, which the crabs will not pay attention to, can be introduced in the water area. Larger fish will be considered as prey and will certainly catch and eat them.

Water and air temperature is 24-28°C. Water should preferably be spiked (6-10 ppm per litre). The crab shell will then rapidly harden after molting, and holes will not form in the shell due to lack of calcium, which usually occurs in fresh water.

Cardisoma carnifex

Chicken crab's menu consists of fish, vegetables, shellfish and shrimp. Crabs like plant foods such as carrots, lettuce, spinach or parsley.  Offer the food in small portions two to three times a week. They will also eat frozen moths. Feed once a day at dusk.



Cardisoma carnifex is not known to reproduce in an aquaterrarium. In nature, the larvae are released from the mother at sea and live in the water for a few weeks before going on land.

The life expectancy of Cardisoma carnifex is about 5-7 years.

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