Coenobita brevimanus

Coenobita brevimanus by Stacy Griffith
Coenobita brevimanus by Stacy Griffith

Common name: Indo or Indonesian crab (also referred to as C. clpyeata (Latrielle) and C. hildendorfi (Terao). [5]

Latin Origins: brevi = short or small, manis = hand

Distribution: From Zanzibar to Tahiti and the Tuamotu Islands, but not known from the East Africa mainland, south west Pacific Ocean [1] Southern Ryukyus [3]

Climate and Geography of East Africa

Habitat: C. brevimanus is rarely near the shore, often found in grassy areas and rain forest.  Shelters under logs and litter during the day. [5]

Ecology: Mostly nocturnal, supratidal, most terrestrially adapted of the species, fills shell with fresh or brackish water. Can survive up to two weeks in damp substrate. [5]

Characteristics: The large pincer is much larger by contrast to the small pincer than in most species. It is also more bulbous in shape. The eye stalks are round and often dark to black. The body becomes wider.  Adults of this species can be larger than any other species from the genus Coenobita, weighing up to 0.5 pounds (230 g).[2] Antennal acicle not fused with second segment of peduncle ; eye stalks subcylyndrical; brush of setae on inner surface of right chela only (small pincer). [4] Rostrum absent. [6]

Body mass 185g [5] Carapace 10-25mm, Length total 100-160mm, Often exceeds 10cm total length. [6]

Common identifiers:

  • Eyes – round, stalk same color as body
  • Large claw – very large and bulbous, no stitch marks
  • Coloring – body color is uniform all over, varying shades of purple
  • Chirps – yes [3] (all species are believed to have the ability to chirp now, some are just less inclined to do so it seems)

Brevimanus Indo close up video

Behavior: Brevimanus seems to be a shy but docile species.

Diet: They are scavenger feeders and omnivorous. [5]

Preferred shells: Turbo argyrostomus [3] Achatina fulica [6]

Coenobita brevimanus
Coenobita brevimanus


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C. brevimanus on instagram:

C. brevimanus on flickr

Photo Credits

Volcano Rob

Jeff Thamster

Stacy Griffith

1. Species Coenobita brevimanus Dana, 1852 Australian Faunal Directory. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.
2. Sue Fox (2000). Hermit crabs: everything about anatomy, ecology, purchasing, feeding, housing, behavior, and illness. Barron’s Educational Series. ISBN 978-0-7641-1229-4.
3. Land hermit crabs from the Ryukyus, Japan, with a description of a new species from the Phillippines by Yukio Nakasone
4. Coastal hermit crabs from Kenya, with a review and key to east African species by P. J. Reay and Janet Haig
5. Biology of the Land Crabs 1st Edition by Warren W. Burggren, Brian R. McMahon

6. A guide to the decapod crustaceans of the South Pacific by Joseph Poupin, Matthieu Juncker

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