Atlantic Sand Crab

Mole crab
When you dig your toes into the sand where the waves wash in, you may feel a mole crab digging to find its way back to its sandy home.

Photo courtesy of Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia,

Also called Mole Crabs, Beach Fleas, Sand Bugs, Sand crabs and Sand Fiddlers, the Atlantic Sand crab is a small (1 inch in length or less), gray-tan colored crab with very short legs that they use to dig down backwards into the sand. Found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, this mole-like crab will burrow backwards into the sand and extend its antennae above ground. This enables it to snag and filter algae and plankton as the waves wash overhead. Its sandy color keeps it camouflaged, allowing it to hide from predators such as shorebirds and gulls, Blue and Ghost crabs, and some fish.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 181300
Corpus Christi, TX 78480


(361) 949-8068
This is the primary phone number for the Malaquite Visitor Center at Padre Island National Seashore.

Contact Us