common sand crab, red spotted crab, swimming crab, paddle crab, surf crab
A medium sized crab with two distinctive red to dark orange oval 'eye' patches at the base of the dorsal carapace. The two rear legs from two paddle-like appendages that allow the crab to swim well, even on the surface at times. The carapace is smooth, about as wide as it is long, and pale brown to blue-grey in colour.
Release crabs if eggs are attached.
Female crabs with eggs cannot be kept. One bait trap can be used. Specialised crab traps cannot be used.
Found in sandy areas in depths to 60m.
If you are continually losing bait whilst fishing over a sandy bottom in estuaries in summer, you may well have sand crabs feeding. They are masters at bait stealing but rarely become hooked.
Sand crab are quick and agile movers with good eyesight. Be careful handling them as they can give you a nasty nip from very sharp claws. The best way is to hold them across the back carapace keeping your fingers well away from the pincers.
These crabs are quite edible, the difficulty will be catching enough for a feed. Boil or steam like other crabs or stir fry.
Level 3, 134 Macquarie St
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647
GPO Box 44
Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550
Level 1, 134 Macquarie St