News / Species Spotlight / Gecarcinus quadratus (Halloween Land Crab) (06/09/14)

Gecarcinus quadratus (Halloween Land Crab)

In The Wild

Gecarcinus quadratus is native to mangrove stands and brackish system sand dunes all around the Caribbean. They are a terrestrial crab that lives on the waters edge, needing water for both keeping their gills damp and reproduction. This is a crab that digs burrows in the riverbanks and shorelines it lives on to hide from predators and the sun. They live within a fairly small area, usually patrolling an area less than a meter from their burrow. They live mostly on leaf litter and other vegetation, but are omnivores and will eat just about anything as long as it's fresh.

In Captivity

The Halloween land crab makes a pretty good inhabitant for mangrove based systems, as long as they utilize some small grain sand and have some dry area. The ideal system for them is a small terrarium or riparium. A riparium more exactly fits the habitat they come from, and a small terrarium would still have to incorporate some water. They need a pretty consistent temperature (75-85f) and water heaters or subterranean heaters are a good way to manage this. Because of their small natural range, they don't need a lot of space, but that space does need to be very clean.

Feeding is pretty easy, they will eat pellets, just about any vegetables you supply, and some fresh raw fish occasionally. Small amounts of vegetable peelings are very good. Remove any uneaten food and run a water filter in whatever water you choose. They also need a consistent source of calcium, so take this into account when feeding them. A popular method is to leave a cuttlefish bone in the riparium for the crabs to work on.