Short care sheet for Thai Devil Crab (Cardisoma carnifex):
Coastal regions of East Africa & Red Sea, Indo-Pacific, Line Islands, Tuamotu Archipelago, Northern Australia, Cocos Islands.
Size: up to 12 cm (carapace, with legs up to 20 cm)
Water pH: terrestrial species
Difficulty Level: Easy
Thai Devil Crab is pretty large representative of crab species and although its biology is poorly researched it may be a great pet for keeping in captivity especially as its life span is up to 8 years.
This species is very easy to keep and so it is suitable for beginners, although this is important to remember that large crabs needs large enclosures (60L min requirement). Another thing to know is that they are burrowing and in nature they can burrow up to 2 m deep. So they will move decoration you put into their enclosure and most likely destroy live plants as they are omnivores (i.e. eats almost everything they find).
From other side here is no issues at all to feed them – they will be happy with fruits, vegs, any animal origin proteins (no prepared fried, salted, spicy food please!), fish flakes, tablets, conserves. Leaf litter should be presented all the time (the best option – oak leaves) as well as source of calcium (for example, plain white chalk)
Due to reason mentioned about here are no captive bred crabs available as this species is extremely difficult to breed in captivity due to its breeding cycle (salt water and tiny larvae that requires microscopic zooplankton).
As other crab species these crabs can regenerate lost limbs after one or two molts.
Be aware – Cardisoma carnifex is strong and can pinch painfully, so don’t give them a chance. Also they are escape artists and can break through poorly made lids (not to mention poorly closed lids or doors). So check everything carefully after feeding or handling, although they will not die immediately this is not good for their health to spend time in non optimal conditions.
IMPORTANT INFO: Crabs coloration may vary, some of them can be brighter, some more dull.
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