Masking Crab

Masking Crab

Loxorhynchus crispatus

Physical Description

The Masking Crab, Loxorhynchus crispatus, is a decorator crab with a large triangular carapace measuring 8-12 cm across. When young, it heavily decorates its carapace, but this decreases with age. It has a pair of short, flattened, straight-sided horns as a rostrum, with males exhibiting larger claws than females.

Habitat and Geographical Range

Common along the eastern Pacific coast, Masking Crabs inhabit rocky habitats with good algal and invertebrate cover. They are typically found in areas with ample hiding spots and suitable camouflage materials for decoration.

What They Eat and How They Breed

Masking Crabs are omnivores, consuming algae, detritus, and small invertebrates. They reproduce sexually, with females carrying fertilized eggs until hatching into planktonic larvae.

Physical Threat to Humans

Masking Crabs pose no direct threat to humans. However, they may use their claws for defense if handled, so it’s advisable to avoid provoking them.

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