FIDDLER CRABS
OCYPODIDAE
Burger's Fiddler Crab
Uca  burgersi
Size
Carapace up to 1.2cm. 

Description
:
Dark bown, sometimes mottled, occasionally with red/ pink marbling on carapace and red on major claw. Walking legs brown (or striped with grey). Upper centre of major claw palm with large tubercles. Adult males have highly aymetric claws (heterochely).

Ecology
Lives in burrows in habitats sheltered from open sea in mud or muddy sand in mangroves.

The smaller claw is used for feeding, picking up sediment and sifting its contents. After anything edible is salvaged, e.g.algae, microbes, fungus, or other decaying detritus, the sediment is replaced in the form of a little ball. The presence of these sediment balls near the entrance to a burrow is a good indication of its occupation.

Males use their enlarged claw for signallingthrough a sequence of waves and gestures asnd for ritualised courtship combat. If a male loses his larger claw, the smaller one will begin to grow larger and the lost claw will regenerate into a new (small) claw.

Life Cycle
Fertilized female fiddler crabs carry hundreds to thousands of eggs under their abdomen, remaining in her burrow during a two-week gestation period, after which she ventures out to release her eggs into the receding tideto hatch into microscopic free-swimming zoea larvae. The larvae live in the open water for ~2 weeks as part of the plankton, growing and moulting through a number of stages, with older larvae known as megalopa. At the end of the final larval stage, the larvae molt into immature crabs, return to land and begin to grow. As they grown larger and turn into adults, the secondary-sexual characteristics (e.g., the asymmetric claws) begin to develop

Lives for ~2 years
    Ecological Descriptors
Habitat Size (cm) Diet Behaviour Sex 
SupLit 1.2
(carapace)
Det I F
Burger's Fiddler Crab
Burger's Fiddler Crab
417
418
Slightly tentative as to which Uca species this one is)
Burger's Fiddler Crab
419