Flora index
Fauna index
guide to the mangroves of singapore
Peter K L Ng and N Sivasothi (editors)
Purple climber crabs
Metopograpsus spp.
Family Grapsidae

up to 4 cm, Indo-West Pacific Locally common

There are three species of mangrove climbers here (M. gracilipes, M. frontalis and M. latifrons) but they are not easy to separate in the field.

They are commonly seen scuttliing over prop roots, tree trunks and other wooden structures (e.g., sluice gates), although they never climb very high.

Their finger tips are scalloped along the inner surface, and they use them to scrape off algae, their primary food source. These crabs, however, are highly opportunistic and will attack any prey they can overcome!

<<Back to crustacea
close-up of purple claws
Metopograpsus in a crevice
of a tree trunk

Carapace colour variations
in species of Metopograpsus
close-up of crab on mud

close-up of crab on mud
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