UM Museum of Zoology
Ranging in size from two to five inches, this brightly-colored crab has light green spots on a darker, greenish-brown background. Like other swimming crabs, its hindmost legs are shaped like paddles that are well-adapted for swimming locomotion. Speckled swimming crabs can be found all along the Atlantic shorelines and from the Carolinas to Venezuela. They are also present, although less common, in the waters of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. This crab has a very aggressive temperament (similar to the Blue crab) and vicious pincers. The Speckled swimming crab burrows down into shifting sands where its colors allow it to camouflage perfectly with its surrounding substrate, waiting to ambush its prey. It enjoys areas of slight hyper-salinity and heavy surf, where it dines on Coquina clams and Mole crabs.