3-Vampire crab (Geosesarma sp.)
The Vampire Crabs, belonging to the Geosesarma genre, are little crabs originating from Sulawesi.
They grow up to 20-25mm of shell size and are very colourful.
Recently discovered, they have the particularity to be the only crabs able to breed only in fresh water.
Since a few years, they are frequently imported because this little crab has such a success in the hobby.
These crabs don’t feed on blood, off course not. Their nickname “vampire” comes from the color of their eyes and the fact that they hunt with voracity at twilight…
Small sized and colourful, there are several species described so far and some of them don’t have any scientific name yet.
They come from Sulawesi in Indonesia.
Natural habitats :
Apparently next to little streams or pools in the rainforests.
Adult size :
Around 25mm of shell size.
Mostly nocturnal but they are active during the day sometimes. It just depends on their shyness, directly linked to their health and the terrarium adjusting.
Life span :
No data available yet.
No data available yet.
Most of the species are not even described. So they are not protected.
Simple, we keep them the same way as with the dart frogs. The only difference remains in their need of a small aquatic area for their moult.
Day: 24-28°C (75-82°F) / Night: 20-24°C (68-75°F)
12h a day.
I think a UV light is a key point to help them succeed in moulting.
After trying all sorts of food with a poor success nay no success, I started giving them both alive and dead insects… Clearly they are hunters !
This guys are real darts when they catch fruit flies. They are greedy.
For example, I had a bunch of youngsters freshly come out of the water which exterminated myspringtails population in a few weeks. Before that, hundreds of springtails swarmed in the terrarium. I had around 20 crabs only…
I fed them essentially with fruit flies, both youngsters and adults. The smaller fed on springtails. Once in a way I gave them freshly killed flies or crickets.
Nb: I suspect them of being cannibal when the food becomes too rare. To be verified.
Yes you read “terrarium” and not “aquarium”. Indeed the Geosesarma are terrestrial crabs. They never go to the water except for moulting or dumping their babies.
The adjusting of the terrarium and the size of the population will highly influence the necessary space.
I highly recommand to put a bushy litter of dead leaves on the floor. First because the insects populations will more easily set up durably. And also because the crabs will have more space to set their territory. Be aware that you must avoid territorial competition because you may find someday a crab missing a claw…
Then, the Geosesarma (sp.) like to climb ! This is why installing textured backgrounds (cork, xaxim, coco fiber…) easier to climb with claws is ideal. They will climb in the plants too.
If you follow this advices, you will be likely to put 5-6 crabs in a 50x50x50cm (20x20x20 inches) tank.
Important: one thing you should never forget when keeping these crabs is an aquatic area. No need to have a large one, the crabs will just go over it to moult. You just need the height to be higher than their shell. All the crabs I lost were dead when trying to moult at the right moment this area was dry… Don’t do the same mistake
Breeding the Vampire Crabs is easy and they are quite prolific.
After they grow sub-adult (their shell got its final colour) it took my crabs 6-8 months to breed. So I would say around 1 year-old.
Sexing them is really easy because males have larger claws than the females.
On top of that and just like any other crab, the females have a large “tail” whereas the males have a skimpy one.
Geosesarma species list :
Is genus of small freshwater or terrestrial crabs, typically less than 10 millimetres (0.4 in) across the carapace. They live and reproduce on land with the larval stages inside the egg. They are found from India, throughSoutheast Asia, to the Solomon Islands and Hawaii. Geosesarma contains the following species:
There is no special conditioning to follow to breed them, according to my experience.
Embryonic development :
The eggs hatch directly under the female abdomen. She carries the young crabs until she dump them in a pool. At this moment, they have the size of a fruit fly.
The youngs are dark and they get their color progressively.
We keep them the same way as the adults but they spend much more time in the water or in the edge.
Off course, you will have to give them a food proportionally adapted to their size. The youngest which are still in the water will feed on fish or crustaceans pills. Then they will hunt little preys such as springtails and progressively start eating fruit flies.
These crabs are really cool. Interesting, easy to keep and quite prolific.
Just like the dart frogs, they allow us to build some tropical planted terrariums which are as pleasant to look at as their pensionaries.
Warning, be aware that a large majority of the available Vampire Crabs originates from imports. I seriously discourage people from purchasing wild pets. Firstly for an obvious ethic reason and also because the imported specimens are more fragile and may host diseases or parasits which may represent a danger for your other pets.
vampire crab setup...
Geosesarma Sp Red Devil
Geosesarma aedituens Naruse & Jaafar, 2009
Geosesarma albomita Yeo & Ng, 1999
Geosesarma amphinome (De Man, 1899)
Geosesarma angustifrons (A. Milne-Edwards, 1869)
Geosesarma araneum (Nobili, 1899)
Geosesarma aurantium Ng, 1995
Geosesarma bau Ng & Jongkar, 2004
Geosesarma bicolor Ng & Davie, 1995
Geosesarma bintan T. M. Leong, 2014
Geosesarma cataracta Ng, 1986
Geosesarma celebense (Schenkel, 1902)
Geosesarma clavicrure (Schenkel, 1902)
Geosesarma confertum (Ortmann, 1894)
Geosesarma danumense Ng, 2003
Geosesarma dennerle (Ng, Schubart & Lukhaup, 2015)
Geosesarma foxi (Kemp, 1918)
Geosesarma gordonae ((Serène, 1968))
Geosesarma gracillimum ((De Man, 1902))
Geosesarma hagen (Ng, Schubart & Lukhaup, 2015)
Geosesarma hednon (Ng, Liu & Schubart, 2003)
Geosesarma ianthina Pretzmann, 1985
Geosesarma insulare Ng, 1986
Geosesarma johnsoni (Serène, 1968)
Geosesarma katibas Ng, 1995
Geosesarma krathing Ng & Naiyanetr, 1992
Geosesarma lawrencei Manuel-Santos & Yeo, 2007
Geosesarma leprosum (Schenkel, 1902)
Geosesarma maculatum (De Man, 1892)
Geosesarma malayanum Ng & Lim, 1986
Geosesarma nannophyes (De Man, 1885)
Geosesarma nemesis Ng, 1986
Geosesarma noduliferum (De Man, 1892)
Geosesarma notophorum Ng & C. G. S. Tan, 1995
Geosesarma ocypodum (Nobili, 1899)
Geosesarma penangense (Tweedie, 1940)
Geosesarma peraccae (Nobili, 1903)
Geosesarma protos Ng & Takeda, 1992
Geosesarma rathbunae (Serène, 1968)
Geosesarma rouxi (Serène, 1968)
Geosesarma sabanum Ng, 1992
Geosesarma sarawakense (Serène, 1968)
Geosesarma scandens Ng, 1986
Geosesarma serenei Ng, 1986
Geosesarma solomonense (Serène, 1968)
Geosesarma starmuhlneri Pretzmann, 1984
Geosesarma sumatraense Ng, 1986
Geosesarma sylvicola (De Man, 1892)
Geosesarma ternatense (Serène, 1968)
Geosesarma teschi Ng, 1986
Geosesarma thelxinoe (De Man, 1908)
Geosesarma tiomanicum Ng, 1986
Geosesarma vicentense (Rathbun, 1914)
4-Perisesarma bidens, the red-clawed crab
Perisesarma bidens, the red-clawed crab, is a species of crab found in theIndo-Pacific region from Zanzibar to Japan and Fiji.
Can have a leg span up to 4" (10 cm). Carapace length is usually no more than 2" (5 cm).
Red claw crabs can survive in freshwater, however in order to thrive these crabs require brackish water (1-2 tbsp. of Marine Salt added per gallon of freshwater). The salt should already be disintegrated and mixed into the water in a bucket before it is added to the tank. These are tropical crabs, and prefer the water temperature between 75-80 °F (23.9-26.7 °C). The pH should be stable around 7.5-8.5.
The recommended tank size for housing is a minimum of 10 gallons. A 10-gallon aquarium can keep 1 male with up to 2 females; however there is still a chance of confrontation that could end in a fatal fight. A sandy substrate is ideal to allow for easy foraging and to facilitate burrowing habits. Several hiding
places should be provided; the use of driftwood, aquarium décor, and aquatic plants (real or plastic/silk) are ideal. Despite what many hobbyists may say, Red Claw Crabs are not fully aquatic and must have access to land. This can be done by having a half-land-half-water style aquarium set-up, or by having aquarium decorations that are taller than the water line. These crabs are excellent climbers and great escape artists. Therefore, the water line should be at least a few inches below the rim of the tank, and a tightly fitting, fully sealed lid should always be in place. The water should be cycled and properly filtered. A weekly 10% water change can further improve water quality.
Best kept as a species only tank. Do not house multiple males together, as they can be territorial and may fight. However, multiple hiding places and a large aquarium providing plenty of space to set up territories can reduce the risk. Non-aggressive, mid to top dwelling and fast-swimming fish, such as most tetras, guppies, and mollies could make suitable tank mates. Due to their opportunistic behavior, Red Claw Crabs tend to try to attack and eat slow moving, sick, or bottom dwelling fish. It is vital to make sure tank mates can tolerate similar environmental conditions.
Red Claw Crabs are omnivores that readily accept a variety of foods, including shrimp pellets, fish flakes, brine shrimp, bloodworms, blanched vegetables, and nearly anything else they can get their claws on due to their opportunistic behavior.
Male Red Claw Crabs tend to have larger, redder claws and are more brightly colored, whereas the females have smaller, darker claws.
Red claw crab. (n.d.). Retrieved from Red clawed crab care sheet. (2012, January 3). Retrieved from Red claw crab (Perisesarma bidens). (2011, August 8). Retrieved from K. (n.d.). Red claw crab. Retrieved from
5-Halloween moon crabs - Gecarcinus quadratus:
How to Care for Your New Halloween Crabs:
Origin : Costa Rica
Temperament : Nocturnal scavenger that lives in burrows
Diet : Omnivore
Temperature : Flexible -- 75 to 85 works fine
Decor : Plastic plants, rocks, wood
Life Span : 8 to 10 years in captivity
Life Style : Scavenger. Likes to hide. Nocturnal
Threats : Other crabs. Copper. Long legged shore birds.
Substrate : Not too important. Wet sand easier to burrow in
Foods : Commercial crab food, fruit, dead fish
Supplements : Some people recommend a cuttlebone
Container : Needs a covered 10-gallon minimum
Our first batch of Halloween crabs.
Pre-Prologue. I'm a pretty good researcher. I can usually find out the basic needs of most critters with a little effort. In 2007 we got some Halloween crabs out of Chicago. I planned to build a page on them, but unfortunately, I accidentally caused their premature demise, i.e., I killed them overnight. I can't really write a page unless I have the actual critters to observe. I filed the starter page as an "in the works page." (I've got lots of pages in the works.) So three years later when I searched for Halloween crabs again, my barely started page came up as #3 on the Bing search. It just contained a few pictures and some basic factoids. Anyway, it's time to ramp it up.
Prologue. Mike ordered a couple of blue moon crabs because he liked the sound of their name. When Kathy saw them the next day, she said they were Halloween crabs. I said noway, the Halloweens are really little compared to these huge guys. Well, it turned out Kathy was right. I hadn't seen the Halloweens since 2007 (pictures below), so I was way off the mark on the new big guys.
Our first Halloween crabs arrived in a deli cup with air holes and moist peat moss on the bottom.
In 2007. We received these little guys back in 2007. We treated them like patriot crabs and managed to drown them overnight. The patriots are also land dwellers but have no problem surviving in deep water because they're strong enough and smart enough to climb to the surface for air. The Halloweens couldn't make the cut. Then, we couldn't get any more until January, 2010. Apparently they are sold under a variety of disparate appellations. They are a strikingly colored crab. We're glad to see them again under any name. When we opened their shipping container, every one said "whoa." They just barely fit into the same shippingcontainers as above. They looked formidable. Our first ones were just cute.
This small Halloween crab had no difficulty scuttling out of his container.
Very much on the cute side. The Jack 'o Lantern look earns them their Halloween name.
Not afraid to defend themselves against larger adversaries.
Temperament. Scrappy sums it up. Halloween crabs have those pincers and know how to use them. In the wild they prefer to hide in burrows and come out looking for food at night. They're more active during the rainy season. In captivity they learn to eat when the lunch bell rings -- day or night.
We put our first Halloween crabs in about six inches of water. Bad move. Don't do it.
Land Crabs. Halloween crabs do not live in the water. They live on land. However, they need access to water to keep their gills moist. You can give them a water dish or provide a 1/2 land, 1/2 water habitat. No strict rules on the fractions. But a body of water is easier to filter than a bowl of water. In the wild, they're also known to climb trees and eat leaves. This means they'd like something to climb on -- rocks, rough wood, plastic plants, or better yet a piece of cork bark.
The redder ones are likely males. The orange ones likely females.
Sexing. Male Halloween crabs tend to be a little brighter (in color, not necessarily I.Q.). Males tend towards the red spectrum. Females tend toward the orange. The best way to sex them tho is to turn them over and discreetly examine their abdomens -- an easier said than done task.
Hefty size blue moon crab also known as the Halloween crab. Probable male.
Slightly smaller blue moon crab. Probable female.
The redder one.
The lighter colored one. They are darned hard to hold.
Sexing II. Both Halloween crabs looked about the same underneath. No good way to tell sexes. Of course, it's a moot point. Females release their half-zillion eggs into the foamy brine where they float in the planktonic soup and go thru a variety of instars which eventually turn into Halloween crabs. The ocean is tough to duplicate in your own home. You won't breed them
Home sweet crabitat.
Basic Container. Here we see a 10-gallon tank skillfully converted into a luxurious Halloween crabitat. They have land, filtered water, and a bit more land plus two pre-fab burrows (which may be a smidge small). You may want to add a food dish to help control food fights. I just gave them each a deceased goldfish to keep it simple. If you give them an occasional fish (any species), they shouldn't need a calcium supplement. Ditto commercial crab foods which will require a food dish.
Giving the pre-fab burrow a quick once over.
Two Halloween crabs crammed into their pre-fab burrows.
Lots of luck picking up one of these Halloween crabs.
Last Word. Personally, I preferred the smaller Halloween crabs. They were cuter. However, these big guys are cute, too. But they are nearly impossible to pick up. As an accredited crab wrangler, I can certify to that. When you try to grab them, they're trying even harder to grab you. Anyway, I'm glad to see them again.
6- Lepidothelphusa spec Orange Arm Borneo Crabs :
This terrestrial freshwater crab is from Java Island. Java is the 13th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in Indonesia. A chain of volcanic mountains forms an east-west spine along the island. It has three main languages, though Javanese is dominant and is the native language of 60 million people in Indonesia, most of whom live on Java.
Males and femals are completely dark brown to black, only the scissors are orange. The claws of males are hairy on the last third.
This species is omnivores. They can take frozen food such as brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, cyclops) as well as fish flakes, granules and fruit. However, the foods need to provide calcium such as: cuttlebone or egg shells as needed.
This attractive Crab is successfully bred in captivity and also it is easy to take care of.
Up for bidding 2m 1f of Lepidothelphusa spec (A.K.A. Crabs "Orange Arm Borneo").
Common Name: Crabs "Orange Arm Borneo"
Scientific Name: Lepidothelphusa spec
Adult Size: 3-4 inches with spreading legs
Temp: 68-82° F
Humidity: 75% or above
Fresh or Salt Water: Freshwater
Larval Stage: The eggs hatch out into small fully developed crabs
PH Range : 7.8 – 8.2
Temperature Range : 80 -84 F
Hardness Range : 5-8Kh
Life Span : 2-3 years
Size: 4-8 cm diameter w/ legs
Habitat: aquatic/semi aquatic
These crabs are Sulawesi in origin and from the lake Matano, this is one of five in the Malili lake system. They are relatively new to the hobby with many being kept by German hobbyists. They are an attractive orange color with black spots all over them. The markings are where their common name came from. These guys will take out slow moving fish or ones that are sick. They can safely be housed with Tetras, Guppies, Mollys, Bettas or Catfish. Since some hobbyists believe these crabs like to come out of the water it’s a good idea to have a small landing place for them, but is not necessary. You will want to have a cover on your tank as they can be escape artists and you don’t want to find your crab running through the house. As with most invertebrates they do much better if they are in a tank that has very clean water so be sure to keep up on your water changes. These guys will eat all sorts of food, they like sinking shrimp pellets, bloodworms and they will eat dead plant material and leaves. They should be supplemented with algae wafers and sinking pellets. In addition to this you’ll want to offer calcium supplements so their shells maintain their form. If you flip your crab over, the female will have a shell that has a salmon-colored round area with a ‘tip’ at the top. On the males, the entire under shell is white/ivory but has lines that make it look like a butterfly has been drawn on its underside. Most crabs berry in a similar fashion to crayfish and the Panther Crab is thought to have a larval stage where the young stay very close as if attached to the female. These aren’t considered an aggressive crab; however larger, slow moving fish may become a target if you don’t keep them well fed. In addition it’s important to keep plenty of hiding places in your tank for your crabs. If you have several then you should have at least more dwellings than you have crabs. When they molt, they will be voraciously hungry so leave their shed shells in the tank as they will eat these to salvage nutrients and remember to offer plenty of food. Crabs can be escape artists so make sure to have a tank with a tight fitting lid. Never release your pets into the wild as they can become invasive.
8-Thai Micro Crabs :
the Best New Little Invert for your Nano
How to care for Thai Micro crab Limnopilos Naiyanetri
One interesting thing about stocking nano sized tanks, whether freshwater or saltwater nano tanks, if you look hard enough the restriction in size of a nano tank also opens your world to new and very rare experiences that you may have glossed over otherwise. What are we talking about? In this specific example, we’re talking about a very not well known (but should be!) invertebrate that belongs in every planted freshwater nano tank. We’re talking about Limnopilos naiyanetri, or the Thai Micro Crab.
Well, technically not new to the hobby, but rare and hard to find nonetheless. Thai micro crabs are exactly what they sound like- tiny little crabs that originate from Thailand. They live exclusively in freshwater, and are found in fast moving streams in Thailand, where they’re collected and sold into the aquarium hobby. Captive breeding hasn’t been terribly successful of these little wonders, so most crabs available are almost always wild caught today. But, there are people working on a method that reliably breeds the crabs in captivity.
Housing and feeding these little crabs is easy. They enjoy planted tanks with lots of vegetation to cling to. They eat the same stuff as freshwater dwarf shrimp- shrimp pellets, uneaten fish food, algae, and so on. They’re very shy, so they’re typically seen out and about rarely during the day, but in the early mornings and evenings is when you might typically see them out of their hiding spots and moving around in the open. They are said to enjoy the roots of floating plants the best as places to hide and eat food, whether it be in the roots, or floating by in forms of tiny rotifers and other microscopic critters that shrimp and crabs like to snack on. They are primarily scavengers, eating whatever they find.
You can find these little crabs for purchase if you know where to look. Since most are imported, you might not find them in your local Petco or petstore. You may have to go straight to the specialists for some thai micro crabs. Check out wonderful websites like aquabid, where you can connect with the importers directly of thai micro crabs and other great freshwater invertebrates. Make sure before you buy your new crabs that you have the right set up for them. Start with an affordable and great nano set up. A kit is a good start. Check out the perfect Fluval SPEC Desktop 2 gallon aquarium, that comes with the right size, lighting, and filtration for your thai micro crabs. At $55.00 for the whole set up, with free shipping, you can’t go wrong. Buy a small bag of theFluval Shrimp Stratum substrate and a couple of marimo, and you’ve got a perfect set up to start your crabs in!
It doesn’t take much to set up the perfect little home for these great and hard to find little wonders. Thai micro crabs are also relatively long lived, so if you take good care of your new friends, you should get a long time of enjoyment out of them. They’re compatible with many other nano-appropriate animals, like cherry shrimp, crystal red shrimp, amano shrimp, and very small little fish like dwarf tetras. If it’s safe for dwarf shrimp, it’s also probably safe for your thai micro crabs. Perfect addition to any freshwater nano aquarium!
9-White Arm Borneo Crab :
Temperature : Range: 68 – 82 F.
Humidity : 75% +
Diet : Omnivore
Habitat : Freshwater
Life Span : 1 - 2 years
Species : Geosesarma borneo
Size : up to 1 ½”
White Arm Crab History :
White arm crabs originate from one of the largest islands in Indonesia, Java Island, just south of Borneo. They are freshwater crabs, and are usually found in swamps or marshes. In an aquarium setting, they need land as well as water. The bodies and carapace of the white arm crab are dark brown to black. Only its scissors are white, and that’s how they get their name. White arm crabs have black eyes. Males have hair on the last third of their claws, but it is not easily visible.
White Arm Crab Care :
White arm crabs are easy to care for, and they typically reproduce well in captivity. Their aquarium should be layered, with a large area of freshwater as well as plenty of terrain for them also, such as rocks and pieces of wood. Plants are good for them to climb and sit in as well. They will frequently sit above the water and dangle their legs in the water. The water temperature should be in the range from 68 to 82F, and the tank environment should be humid. You should change their water once or twice a week so that it will remain clean and fresh. They will do well with other white arm crabs in the same tank, but be wary with much larger or aggressive tank mates.
White Arm Crab Diet :
White arm crabs are omnivores. They eat meat, such as brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, cyclops, and pieces of earth worms. They will also eat fresh vegetables and apples, pears, bananas, etc. You can feed white arm crabs a wide range of packaged foods, such as algae flakes, shrimp pellets, and fish flakes. You can also give white arm crabs extra calcium in the form of eggshells, cuttlebone, or cuttlefish. They will eat their own discarded exoskeletons for calcium as well.
White Arm crab Reproduction :
White arm crabs reproduce in fresh water. The female carries several eggs under her apron, although in captivity the exact number varies. When the eggs hatch, the emerging offspring appear as miniature adults rather than larvae. The offspring will have all dark coloring. Their claws will not lighten until they mature. Care should be taken to protect the offspring from predators while they are very small and vulnerable.
White Arm crab Behavior :
White arm crabs are sociable, and they will do well with other white arm crabs. . Ideally, you should have one male and three or four females in a tank. However, they are small and somewhat vulnerable to predators. They will spend some of their time in their water, but more often they will sit above the water with only their legs resting in it. You should provide plenty of places for them to sit or hang.
Special Notes :
White arm crabs relatively easy to keep, provided you keep their water clean and keep them away from predators. They are not the most active species of crab, but they are attractive and make a good aquarium crab because of the relative ease of maintaining them.