Grapsus grapsus                    Grapsidae

Distribution: Entire Pacific coast of Central America and Mexico, and nearby islands. It is one of the many charismatic species that inhabit the Galápagos Islands.

Habitat: Lives amongst the rocks at the often turbulent, windy shore, just above the limit of the sea spray.

Appearence: G. grapsus is a typically shaped crab, with five pairs of legs, the front two bearing small, blocky, symmetrical chelae. The other legs are broad and flat, with only the tips touching the substrate. The crab’s round, flat carapace is just over 8 centimetres (3.1 in) in length. Young G. grapsus are black or dark brown in color and camouflage well on the black lava coasts of volcanic islands. Adults are quite variable in color. Some are muted brownish-red, some mottled or spotted brown, pink, or yellow.

Diet; Algae primarily, sometimes sampling plant matter and dead animals.

Remarks; G. grapsus is very agile and quick to avoid predators.

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