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Cardisoma guanhumi   Latreille, 1828

giant land crab

Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Cardisoma guanhumi  AquaMaps  Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Cardisoma guanhumi (giant land crab)
Cardisoma guanhumi
Picture by Hirose, Gustavo

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Malacostraca | Decapoda | Gecarcinidae

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Benthic; depth range 0 - 2 m (Ref. 367).  Tropical; 30°N - 29°S, 98°W - 34°W

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Western Atlantic: From USA, the Gulf of Mexico, the Antilles, throughout the Caribbean and Brazil.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm Max length : 15.0 cm CW male/unsexed; (Ref. 82656)

Short description Morphology

Carapace broadly egg-shaped, narrow posteriorly and greatly inflated anterolaterally in adults; lateral margins not sharply defines; fronto-orbital distance (space between outer orbital angles) about 2/3 of maximum carapace width in adult males, nearly 3/4 in females. Pincers distinctly unequal, relatively smooth; fingers meeting only at tips, more gaping in larger hand, size of larger hand increasing disproportionately with age, especially in males. Walking legs sparsely hairy on margins, dactyls with 4 rows of spines. Color: juveniles dark brown; transitional stage dark purple and orange; adults lavender blue, females change to white or dull yellow at time of ovulation (once attained, color remains through autumn and winter in Florida population); males sometimes undergo less frequent and usually incomplete color changes.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Adults are terrestrial and can live as far as 5 miles away from the shore. They only return to the sea to drink and breed (Ref. 82656). Supratidal to intertidal (Ref. 97531). Nearly terrestrial species. Lives in great concentration in burrows (to 1.5 m deep) in relatively low lying ground, but also along canals or ditches among rocks and debris. Common in mangrove areas. Burrows may be as far as 8 km from the sea but always where the water table (fresh or salt) can be reached. Normally lives sub-aerially, occasionally wetting the gills, but can survive long periods of immersion and can adapt easily to great variations in water salinity. Females return briefly to the sea where eggs must hatch and larvae undergo developmental changes before transformation to the emergent crab stage. Feeds on a wide variety of plant material, occasionally some carrion. Cannibal (Ref. 367). Herbivore. Also an opportunistic feeder, consuming fiddler crabs, insects and carrion (Ref. 112918). Functionally an omnivore (Ref. 112923). Reproductive activity peaks during full moons in summer (Ref. 82656). Spawning season is from June to December and peaks during October and November (Ref. 82656).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Reproductive activity peaks during full moons in summer (Ref. 82656).

Main reference References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Tavares, M. 2003. (Ref. 367)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)

CITES status (Ref. 108899)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial
| FishSource | Sea Around Us


More information

FAO areas
Food items
Mass conversion

Internet sources

BHL | BOLD Systems | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(Publication : search) | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | ispecies | PubMed | Tree of Life | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 25.3 - 28.3, mean 27.4 (based on 395 cells).
Prior r = 1.05, 95% CL = 0.69 - 1.58, Based on 1 stock assessment.
Price category (Ref. 80766)