Flora index
Fauna index
guide to the mangroves of singapore
Peter K L Ng and N Sivasothi (editors)
Stone/Thunder crab
Myomenippe harwicki
Family Eriphiidae

up to 10cm, found in Southeast Asia

This is a very common crab, hiding in burrows, under rocks and driftwood. The bright green eyes set in a circle of red are diagnostic.
close-up of crab on mud
Stone crabs emerge from
their holes at high tide

The powerful claws crush bivalves and other molluscs on which it feeds. The crab is eaten in some places, with its large muscular claws especially favoured. It resists getting dislodged from a hole by pushing its arms and body against the walls of its crevice. When caught, it will 'play dead' by remaining motionless.

Fisherman call this the Thunder crab for they believe only a clap of thunder will make it release its grip when it pinches you. This is untrue, and in such a situation with many crabs, it is probably more effective to allow the crab contact with the ground and an escape route!

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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