• Aerial View of Padre Island National Seashore

    Padre Island

    National Seashore Texas

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Park Phone issues

    The visitor center main phone line and fax line are not working. To reach the park visitor center, call (361) 949-8069. Fax to (361) 949-7091, Attention: Visitor Center. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  • Bird Island Basin Campground rehabilitation starts August 18, 2014

    The second part of a project to repair facilities and rebuild eroded shoreline at Bird Island Basin Campground begins August 18. Minor disruptions of activities in the immediate area may occur. None of the work should affect use of the boat ramp.

Speckled Swimming Crab

Speckled Swimming Crab

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.

Did You Know?

The National Park Service arrowhead contains a white buffalo, an animal sacred to many native Americans.

Although Padre Nicolas Balli established the first permanent settlement on the island, the island was previously owned by his father and his grandfather, who obtained the original grant from the Spanish crown. More...