Flora index
Fauna index
guide to the mangroves of singapore
Peter K L Ng and N Sivasothi (editors)

These are invertebrates with segmented legs, and are undoubtedly the most common group of animals in the mangrove. All have a chitinous exoskeleton and their foregut and hindgut are also chitin-lined. There are more arthropod species than all other animals put together. In mangroves, three subphyla are especially common—the crustaceans, chelicerates and insects. All are relatively poorly studied, and opportunities for scientific discovery abound!

Crabs, Prawns and allies

The crustaceans are the dominant group of aquatic and amphibious arthropods in mangroves.

Several groups are especially common, the most notable being the crabs and prawns (Order Decapoda). Barnacles (Order Cirripedia), wood-borers, wood-lice and sea slaters (Order Isopoda) and mud-hoppers (Order Amphipoda) are also common.

All crustaceans breathe with gills, and as such, they must always be near or have access to water.

All crustacea have a chitinous skeleton, which in many are reinforced with calcium salts. Because of this tough and inflexible exoskeleton, they must moult to grow, i.e., they must shed their old 'skin' to grow. After they moult, their new 'skin' is soft and before it hardens, the animal must swell up (by swallowing air or water). After the skin hardens, the animal then feeds voraciously to fill up the empty space within!

Crustaceans have two pairs of feelers, unlike insects (only one pair).





What is mangrove?

The Ecosystem


Indirect uses
Potential uses

About Mangroves
in Singapore

Mangroves to visit
From "A Guide to Mangroves of Singapore", Peter K. L. Ng and N. Sivasothi (editors)
Volume 1: The Ecosystem and Plant Diversity and Volume 2: Animal Diversity
Authors: Kelvin K. P. Lim, Dennis H. Murphy, T. Morgany, N. Sivasothi, Peter K. L. Ng,
B. C. Soong, Hugh T. W. Tan, K. S. Tan & T. K. Tan
BP Guide to Nature Series published by the Singapore Science Centre, sponsored by British Petroleum
2001 Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, The National University of Singapore & The Singapore Science Centre