Southern Soldier Crab

Crab soldier
© Tasmanian Government. Image Peter Gouldthorpe
Season: Open all year

bag limit50


possession limit100


boat limit-

(invertebrate bait species combined)

Guide to symbols

bagBag Limit
housePossession Limit
boatBoat Limit

Minimum size


Most scalefish are measured from the nose to the end of the tail. Get your scalefish measuring ruler or sticker at any Service Tasmania outlet.

Other names

soldier crab, dark blue soldier crab, Australian soldier crab

Scientific name

Mictyris platycheles

Grows to

Up to

1.5cm across the carapace

Identifying features

​The solider crab is a small crab with a distinctive round body including a blue-grey carapace with a red-purple patch on each side and long, white to orange legs. When disturbed it can curl up quickly and burrow into the sand using a spiral motion.


Found in the intertidal zone of mud flats, sand flats and beaches where they sift sand particles left by receding tides for food.

Fishing information

Often seen on sandy beaches in large numbers like an army, (hence the name soldier crab), retreating en masse from approaching threats. Most commonly taken by hand or by bait pump to be used as bait.


The claws are very small and not capable of causing harm. Children can find the feel of the crab crawling on their hands alarming and sometimes react by involuntarily throwing the crab away.


Fishwatch Report illegal fishing

0427 655 557

What to report? arrow button

Contact us

Recreational Fishing

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

Hobart TAS 7000

Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647


Commercial Fisheries

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550


Commercial Fisheries Licensing

Level 1, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550