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Mandarin Crab


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Mandarin crab (Geosesarma notophorum) (01:36)
  • Mandarin crab ...
  • Geosesarma no...
    This terrestrial freshwater crab is from Pulau Lingga, an isla...

Product Description

Temperature Range:  68 – 82 F.
Diet:   Omnivore
Habitat:   Terrestrial
Life Span:   1 - 2 years
Species:  Geosesarma notophorum
Size:  up to 1/2”

Mandarin Crab History
Mandarin crabs originate from the island of Palua Lingga, east of Sumatra, Indonesia. Coloration of the mandarin crab varies, but they typically have a light to medium brown body, and the back of its carapace is purplish to blue. Most mandarin crabs have bright green eyes, but some are yellow to yellow-green.  They have bright orange claws, and their legs are brown or reddish colored.  Mandarin crab offspring are beige to light brown, with light colored claws. When they reach maturity, their colors darken. Male mandarin crabs have a narrower apron than females, and their claws are more bulky.

Mandarin Crab Care
Mandarin crabs do best when they are only with other mandarin crabs. You can put them in a tank without a lid or a terrarium as humidity isn’t a concern. Three females to one male is the optimal ratio for mandarin crabs; however, as long as you have fewer males than females, then they should do well. You should have a small water bowl in the tank; although they won’t submerge themselves, they like having the ability to dangle their legs in the water. The tank should have multiple layers, and plenty of wood, rocks, and plants for climbing on and burrowing in. They will burrow in any caves if you have one.  Leaves and mosses work well in the tank on top of the substrate.  

Mandarin Crab Diet
Mandarin crabs are omnivores. They will eat most any meat, such as brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, tuna, sardines, and pieces of earthworms. They will also eat fresh vegetables and non-citrus fruit. You can feed mandarin crabs a wide range of packaged foods, such as algae flakes, shrimp pellets, and fish flakes. You can also give mandarin crabs extra calcium in the form of eggshells or cuttlebone.

Mandarin crab Reproduction
Mandarin crabs reproduce in fresh water. The female carries around 12 eggs under her apron, although in captivity they sometimes produce more eggs. When the eggs hatch, the emerging offspring appear as miniature adults rather than larvae. They will be carried on the mother’s back for several days, and during this time, the mother mandarin crab will not eat. This brooding behavior appears to be exclusive to the mandarin crab.

Mandarin crab Behavior
Mandarin crabs are sociable, so they don’t like to be alone, and they will do well with other mandarin crabs.  However, they tend not to cohabitate well with other species. They are less shy when the lighting of the tank is subdued.  Mandarin crabs are moderately active, but they do enjoy climbing and burrowing. If they have plenty of leaves, wood, etc. to dig in, they are less likely to dig deep into the substrate.

Special Notes
Mandarin crabs relatively easy to keep, provided you have them in a tank by themselves. They are not the most active species of crab, but they are amusing to watch climb around on vines and rocks.

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