A field guide to Kenyan mangroves


Uca tetragonon (Herbst, 1790)

Family: Ocypodidae

Zone: Lower intertidal areas in relatively exposed, stoney areas (Hartnoll, 1975; Murai et al., 1995; Ruwa, 1997).

Habitat: Burrowing to about 50 cm depth.

Food: Detritus (Icely and Jones, 1978).

Ecological notes: Restricted to sandy-muddy shores with areas of coral rubble, rocks and boulders (Murai et al., 1995). Generally not found in high numbers (Ruwa, 1997).

Distinguishing characteristics: A large sized, narrow fronted species; major claw whitish with a red-orange patch at the base of immobile finger (carapace width about 2.5 cm).

Geographical range: From Red Sea to Tanzania, Zanzibar, Madagascar, Indonesia, Thailand and the central Pacific (Vannini and Valmori, 1981).


Cannicci, S., F. Dahdouh-Guebas and L. Montemagno, 1993. "Field Keys for Kenyan Mangrove Crabs." Museo Zoologico "La Specola", Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e Genetica dell'UniversitÓ Degli Studi di Firenze, Via Romana 17, I-50125 Firenze, Italia.

Gillikin, D.P., 2000. Factors controlling the distribution of Kenyan brachyuran mangrove crabs: Salinity tolerance and ecophysiology of two Kenyan Neosarmatium species. M.Sc. Thesis, Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium.

Hartnoll, R.G., 1975. "The Grapsidae and Ocypodidae (Decapoda: Brachyura) of Tanzania." J. Zool. Lond. 177:305-328.

Icely, JD and DA Jones, 1978. Factors affecting the distribution of the genus Uca (Crustacea: Ocypodidae) on an East African Shore." Estuarine and Coastal Marine Science 6:315-325.

Murai, M., T. Koga, S. Goshima and S. Poovachiranon, 1995. "Courtship and the evolution of underground mating in Uca tetragonon." J. Crust. Biol. 15(4): 655-658.

Ruwa, R.K., 1997. "Zonation of burrowing crabs in the mangroves of the East Coast of Kenya." In Kjerfve, Bj÷rn, Luiz Drude de Lacerdaand El Hadji Salif Diop (eds.). Mangrove ecosystem studies in Latin America and Africa. UNESCO Technical Papers in Marine Science, Paris, France. Pp. 316-324.

Vannini, M. and P. Valmori, 1981. Researchers on the coast of Somalia. The shore and the dune of Sar Uanle. 31. Ocypodidae and Gecarcinidae (Crustacea Brachyura). Monitore Zoologico Italiano 14: 199-226.

See more mangrove books


previous speciesnext species

all text and photographs copyright© 2002 David Gillikin and Anouk Verheyden
Created 05 January 2000